The Phantom Ensemble was started by Bristol producer Toby Simiah and it was his need to play live that led him to reach out to sax hero Craig Crofton and harmonic master Dan Somers to start up a new forward thinking project fusing instrumental smooth break beat with chilled jazz flows. Learn more about the Phantom Ensemble.
BAILA LA CUMBIA
It’s not just a band name… it’s a command! If you like your riffs horn-heavy and your rhythms contagious, this is a band you need to see. With searing horn lines and percussion you can feel right up your trouser legs, Baila la Cumbia will turn any average night out into a riotous party that you’ll never forget! Learn more about Baila La Cumbia on their website or follow them on Facebook.
CANTEEN JAZZ JAM SESSIONS
Every other Monday, The Canteen in Bristol hosts a lively open jazz jam session led by versatile saxophone hero Craig Crofton who welcomes seasoned players to explore classic jazz and Latin tunes with his hand-picked house trio and others.
‘Freight is that rare thing, a jazz band with a group identity. One might see it as retro, but that would only be a part of it, one dimension. True, there are plentiful elements of 50s jazz: propulsive walking bass, hi-hat timekeeping on drums, a swing groove from all four that just won’t quit (there were even some slightly drunk 20 year olds dancing), but it is not a self-conscious appeal to old folks who pine for the good old days of jazz. This is jazz by four highly skilled young-ish players who have been through it all, from Free to Electronica, World to Hip Hop; 50s jazz is just a part of the panoply of music laid out before us in this Age of Information.’ Listomania, Bath
‘This debut recording from newly minted Bristol jazz quartet FREIGHT seems to have wafted directly from a cool corner of the mid-60s. So faithfully does it evoke a definitive ‘jazziness’ that it’s a shock to discover the majority of tunes were written by young pianist Martin Jenkins. Equally, many people might be surprised by the straightahead sax of Craig Crofton, more widely known for his funk and dub excursions. The two have a nicely intertwined understanding, each track solidly grounded in Greg Cordez’s bass and Richard Laws’s drumming. There’s an unflustered spaciousness to the sound, beautifully apparent in their hushed gospel rendering of Ellington’s sublime ‘Come Sunday’ and Jenkins’s own ‘You Said It Last’, a launch pad for Crofton’s fine Coltraneistic flights.’ VENUE magazine
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