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Paul Gowland Quartet + Noel Dennis Quartet: The Music of Bird & Miles  -  Sun Nov 12, 2017  |  07:45 pm
In any list of those who shaped modern jazz, two names are sure to be right up at the top - saxophonist Charlie ‘Yardbird’ Parker and trumpeter Miles Davis. They played a huge part in laying the foundations on which much of today’s music has been built, and this gig pays tribute to their contribution.

Parker, of course, virtually defined the sound of bebop saxophone, and some of his recorded solos remain amongst the most thrilling moments in the whole of jazz history. His death in 1955, at the age of just 34, means that we will never know how his music would have moved on, but he left a legacy that can still be an inspiration to players today.

Miles was still a teenager when he joined Bird’s band in 1944, and it’s his later work that really makes its mark on jazz. The ‘first great quintet’ sessions of the mid-50’s, the collaborations with arranger Gil Evans, the modal jazz of ‘Kind of Blue’, and the increasing embrace from 1970 onwards of rock-tinged electronics, all show Miles as the music’s most restless shape-shifter. Opinions differ as to which was his finest period, but there can be no argument that he is owed a debt by every trumpeter who has followed in his footsteps.

Paul Gowland and Noel Dennis are happy to acknowledge their debts to their predecessors, and it's great to have them here at the Bridge revisiting the music of the two greats. Paul teams up with pianist Jeremy McMurray, bassist Alan Rudd and drummer Ian Hetherington to dig into the legacy of Bird, while Noel Dennis explores his love of the many faces of Miles in the company of Paul Edis, Andy Champion and Adrian Tilbrook. This is not an exercise in nostalgia, but an illustration of just how much imaginative mileage can be found in a priceless inheritance.

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