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Joe Morris & Tony Bevan + Wandering Monster  -  Sun Jun 11, 2017  |  08:00 pm
When the Joe Morris Quartet made their only UK appearance here in December 2015 it was an extraordinary and memorable gig. Not that we were surprised - Joe, described by US critic Chris Haines as “probably the most important guitarist working within free music at present”, is an old friend of Jazz North East, and we knew just how good he is.

So we’re ecstatic about the opportunity to book him again, this time as he makes a flying visit to Scotland (our gig will be his only one south of the border) to work with saxophonist Tony Bevan. It’s a familiar combination for Joe, whose four CD set with the great Anthony Braxton reveals a tremendous level of concentration and imagination throughout. While Tony Bevan doesn’t call upon Braxton’s vast array of horns, his performances on soprano and bass saxes (the Little & Large of the family) are unfailingly inventive, and this duo with Joe is a mouth-watering prospect. But, as we have a mission to provide opportunities for our best local musicians, we’ve also arranged for bassist John Pope to join them for part of their set.

Opening the evening there’s a North East debut for Wandering Monster, a Leeds-base quintet formed to play the compositions of bassist Sam Quintana. Since its inception in late 2014 the band has honed a sound which unleashes a combination of off-kilter grooves, in your face hooks and passages of collective improvisation, and has gone on to be selected for the ‘Jazz North Introduces’ festival showcase.

In some respects this is a complete contrast to the approach of Morris and Bevan, but that’s the great thing about jazz today - musicians going to the same creative well but coming up with very different, yet equally exciting, approaches. A great double bill for any open minded jazz enthusiast.

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