MAY 2024

The calendar means we have FIVE fantastic gigs for you in May. A big thank you to the staff at the Parakeet for being so helpful as we return to what we think is the finest listening room in North London. Please continue to spread the word amongst your friends and on social media, it really helps us out. One tiny change going forwards – we’ve made the difficult decision to put our ticket prices up ever so slightly to £12 general admission and £7 musician/student. This is partly to reflect a slight increase in the costs of our website/design etc, and also so that we can continue to pay our artists what we hope is a fair amount for their performance. We think this still stacks up as the best value jazz you’ll find anywhere on a Monday night and hope that you’ll keep up your invaluable support!

Monday 1st May – Rachael Cohen

Rachael Cohen – Alto Saxophone
Artie Zaitz – Guitar
Jack Garside – Bass
Jason Brown – Drums

Rachael, a London-based alto saxophonist and composer, is one of the brightest emerging stars of her generation. Her skills as a composer and improviser have gained her a great deal of attention in the UK and beyond.

2012 saw Rachael record her critically-acclaimed debut album ‘Halftime’ on Michael Janisch’s Whirlwind Recordings, which catapulted Cohen’s reputation to one of the premier new voices of her generation in the UK’s jazz and improvised music scene. Featuring top UK guitarist Phil Robson, ‘Halftime’ was highly praised nationwide and overseas upon its release in 2013 with four star reviews from major publications and earning her a spot in MOJO magazines top ten Jazz albums of 2014.

Rachael has since toured and continues to work extensively across the UK with her own projects and has come to be a mainstay at London clubs such as Ronnie Scott’s and the Vortex as well as having her residencies at other clubs throughout London.

“Cohen takes a softly devious approach reminiscent of Lee Konitz – but, as with the canny Cool School veteran, the quietness is deceptive and the subtlety is in the weighting of phrases and the hipness with which she plays off the rhythm section.” – The Guardian

Monday 8th May – Robbie Ellison Septet

Steve Fishwick – trumpet
Adam Bishop – alto sax
Ed Parr – trombone
Fraser Smith – tenor sax
Tom Smith – bass clarinet
Darren McCarthy – bass
Robbie Ellison – drums

(The below write-up is verbatim what Robbie sent us!)

At some point over the last year, there occurred three historically improbable events:

  1. Robbie Ellison – up to then merely a young drummer to be found playing all over London, the UK and throughout Europe as an in-demand (though perhaps overly-opinionated) member of the contemporary, swinging jazz community – worked out how to use musical notation software.
  2. Following on from this considerable breakthrough, he managed to persuade (no doubt with various unsavoury bribes and dubious promises) the most clotted, most decadently calorific cream of the London bebop scene to get together and play his newfangled conceptions; and to lend to them each individual’s renowned improvisatory flair. These compositions and arrangements draw upon a diverse range of influences including the music of Dizzy Gillespie, Tadd Dameron, Mary Lou Williams, Gil Evans, Benny Golson, Slide Hampton as well as classical composers Chopin, Mahler and Schoenberg among others.
  3. As if this pair of minor miracles weren’t enough, the same motley collective has proceeded to find numerous of the country’s finest jazz venues in which they can give voice to this music…
    So come check it out.


Monday 15th May – Nigel Price/Alban Claret Quartet

Nigel Price – Guitar
Alban Claret – Guitar
Mikele Montolli – Double Bass
Matt Fishwick – Drums

UK guitarist Nigel Price hooks up with the fiery French guitarist Alban Claret. With the awesome Matt Fishwick on drums and the virtuoso double bass player Mikele Montolli this newly formed quartet will be making it’s mark on the scene.

They will playing selections from their album ‘Entente Cordiale’, which is comprised of compositions by some of the most important 20th century figures in jazz such as Charles Mingus, Horace Silver, Sam Jones and Bill Evans.

Monday 22nd May – Matt Anderson Quartet

Matt Anderson – Tenor and Soprano Saxophones
Alberto Palau Garcera – Piano
Will Harris – Double-Bass
Jay Davis – Drums

London-based saxophonist and Dankworth Prize-winning composer Matt Anderson presents his third album, The Town and the City, which follows 2018’s Rambling also by this long-running quartet. The title refers in part to the diverse influences on the music, such as from the whole spectrum of the jazz tradition and various rhythmic traditions from around the world, but also more pastoral, spacious and folk-influenced sounds. This reflects Matt’s upbringing in the rural North Yorkshire Moors juxtaposed with his love of jazz and experience of living in the urban melting pot of London, which is also where this band was formed.

The son of a music teacher and based in Leeds for a time, Matt has lived in London since 2015. Becoming part of the fertile jazz scene in the capital, he has since performed with artists/bands such as Greg Hutchinson (with the Jiannis Pavlidis Quintet), Ivo Neame, the Gareth Lockrane and Calum Gourlay big bands, Jamie Doe’s Magic Lantern and Hannes Riepler. He also teaches at Leeds Conservatoire and the Royal Academy of Music.

Alberto Palau is an immensely talented pianist from Valencia, Spain. Now based in London, his experiences living in Boston and New York and working with artists such as Perico Sambeat and Charles McPherson make him much in-demand from leading British musicians. Jay Davis is one of the busiest drummers on the London scene, featuring for example in the Alex Hitchcock Quintet, Big Bad Wolf and his own group BadTrad. Will Harris’ remarkable bass playing has put him in high demand in the South-West where he has been based for many years, and after spending time in London he has become an increasingly popular choice of bassist in the capital as well.

Working together frequently over the past seven years, the band have developed a deep connection, touring extensively in the U.K. as well as appearing at the Bimhuis, Amsterdam; Jamboree, Barcelona and Jimmy Glass, Valencia.

Monday 29th May – Zoe Francis/Jim Mullen/Ross Stanley

Zoe Francis – Voice
Jim Mullen – Guitar
Ross Stanley – Hammond Organ

Blue Town Trio featuring Zoe Francis vocals, Jim Mullen, guitar and Ross Stanley, Hammond organ will be performing songs from Zoe’s new album “Somewhere in the Night”. Inspired by her love of the Blue Note, Larry Young, Grant Green recordings, this is Zoe, Jim and Ross’s 2nd album together. Zoe is a class act, known for her impeccable taste in material. Jim and Ross are two of the finest musicians on their instruments. Expect to hear classic songs with fresh arrangements and tempos! Zoe’s beautiful voice set against the rich layers of sound from Ross’s Hammond and Jim’s melodic blues lines make this trio sound like a mini orchestra!

PETER BERNSTEIN – “This is a great record that stands out in it’s beauty and courage.”
JAZZ JOURNAL- “A breath of spring…..great interpreter of the American Songbook.”
JAZZ RAG MAGAZINE – “She is totally a jazz singer, her lyrical phrasing is masterfully varied from chorus to chorus.”