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Tonight's Jazzland Sessions features two Leeds jazz tenor saxophonists who love the jazz tradition of bebop and hard bop but do it their own way. Headline artist James Mainwaring plays in jazz guerrillas Roller Trio and Tipping Point but he loves Charlie Parker and bebop so tonight, he brings his own "outside" tenor sax playing style and soloing to his favourite bebop and jazz standards tunes. Saul Duff plays with contemporary jazz group Awen Ensemble and is a more traditionalist in his tenor sax playing style but his quintet goes for a more unorthodox line up in the rhythm section, using just a guitar and no piano plus a six string electric bass instead of the acoustic upright. So two interesting takes on a traditional modern jazz style. Thus we name the night Bebop Reimagined.
Saxophonist, composer and songwriter James Mainwaring is now an established artist in the UK jazz scene. His breakthrough came in 2012 with the release of the debut album by the Leeds band he co-founded, Roller Trio, who were then nominated for the Mercury Prize, MOBO Best Jazz Act and Jazz FM Best Newcomer. UK jazz don Gilles Peterson called it "dark, menacing and bass heavy, the new sound of UK jazz". They also won a Peter Whittingham Jazz Award for that release and were featured on BBC Introducing too. They've since gone on to release three more studio albums, two live albums and a film soundtrack. Roller Trio have always been well known for live shows and over the years they've played at A Love Supreme Festival, Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Canary Wharf Jazz Festival and the legendary London's Ronnie Scott's Club. They've also toured across mainland Europe and further afield including Sudan and South Korea.
In 2013, James received the "Emerging Excellence Award" and support from Jazz North and Jazz Services for his new project Tipping Point. Featuring acclaimed pianist Matthew Bourne, drummer Joost Hendrickx and double bassist Michael Bardon, Tipping Point toured and released The Earthworm’s Eye View in 2015, commended by John Fordham in The Guardian as “playful, dark, skilful and spontaneous… a surefooted trip across many persuasions in contemporary music’. Additionally, James explores performing solo with saxophone and electronics, including performances at Jazz In The Round and Kings Place as part of the London Jazz Festival. As well as a bandleader, he has featured as a guest with Nduduzo Makathini (Ikhambi), Django Django (Born Under Saturn, Marble Skies), John Law, (Configuration), Dave Kane, Morten Schantz, Sean Foran, Space Fight and many great musician, appearing internationally at major venues, festivals, on the radio and TV broadcasts. James is currently signed to Edition Records and alongside his performance career, is a senior lecturer at Leeds Conservatoire.
Tonight he brings his allstar heavyweight Leeds quartet to Jazzland Sessions to play some Charlie Parker tunes and bebop standards but in his own James Mainwaring way, plus a sprinkling of original material. The band features Jamil Sheriff (piano), Sam Quintana (double bass) and Steve "Chief" Hanley (drums).
Support comes from "the big fella on tenor" Saul Duff. If you've been attending the Jazzland Sessions at Brudenell, you may have already seen him playing a few times with contemporary jazz group Awen Ensemble as well as the blazing set with trumpeter Grifton Forbes-Amos and his quintet playing a set of Freddie Hubbard compositions. He also plays with space pop jivesters Spacey Basement Cult. After graduating from Leeds Conservatoire in 2020, Saul has been working with all these other bands but also writing original material for his own quintet. Tonight he'll play a mix of bebop/hard bop standards and some of his own compositions. With himself leading from the front on tenor sax, he's got some heavy young jazz players in his band. They are : Felix Burling (trumpet), Rory Mann (guitar), Dave Edwards (electric bass), Oli Reeves (drums).
This is a table seated jazz club style show.
***JAZZLAND SESSIONS is supported with funding from Leeds Inspired, part of Leeds City Council***