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Joe Morris Quartet  -  Sun Dec 06, 2015  |  08:00 pm
Admission £ 10.00 ( £ 8.00 concessions)
In an extraordinary coup for Jazz North East, we are immensely proud to be presenting this, the only UK date for the Joe Morris Quartet in their European tour.

Joe Morris, described by US critic Chris Haines as “probably the most important guitarist working within free music at present”, is an old friend of ours, taking part in our ‘On the Outside’ festival ten years ago, while Mat Maneri (an equally innovative figure on the violin and viola) was part of our very first festival in 2004. Both have been back to Tyneside subsequently, but we’ve never previously featured them together. Yet their musical association goes back at least twenty years, and this outstanding quartet with bassist Chris Lightcap and drummer Gerald Cleaver has itself got a pedigree that stretches back to 1999 - it’s great to have them all here together at last.

The quartet’s longevity is based on the extraordinary compatibility of the four musicians, and the creative energy which they unlock in each other. With three string instruments in the line-up there is sometimes a profoundly thoughtful chamber music feel to their playing, but they can equally hit a full-on groove like a hive of angry but very purposeful bees! As with all great quartet writing and playing, the focus is shared throughout the instrumentation and each musical personality comes to the fore, although very much within the context of the collective identity.

In fact the title of the quartet’s most recent album, ‘Balance’ perfectly expresses the nature of the quartet and its music - a balance between composition and free improvisation, a balance between the four instruments, and most of all a superb balance between four distinctive musical personalities all contributing to the common vision.

Tickets for this gig are available from Reflex CDs (0191 260 3246) or online from