Chris Bowden

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Chesterfield Jazz Presents

Please note: Info provided by the Event Organiser

Let's face it, despite all its history, the myths and legends that surround its most famous exponents, the black and white photos, the recordings, the movies, even, the saxophone wasn't most contemporary music-makers idea of fun in the early nineties. Chris Bowden could easily have stayed one of the unsung backroom musicians of the British scene - a fine sax player, a talented and knowledgeable arranger and composer. He could have been a straight-up UK jazz man playing in tiny clubs to 30 or 40 devotees, as credible as fuck. He chose neither route. Chris Bowden chose to make 'jazz' that was as contemporary and relevant as sampled, sequenced music. He chose to ignore obscurity, but to give Kenny G the finger, too. In 1996 he released 'Time Capsule' (Soul Jazz) to immense critical acclaim and general appreciation. Space jazz with the rigour of a classicist, by turns forbidding and kitsch, a superb mood piece rather than just a succession of tunes, it established that Bowden was a huge talent in his own right. Of course many people (mainly the people he had worked with, or those who read record sleeve credits carefully) already knew that. Bowden had started his professional career in the heart of the acid jazz boom playing sessions and shows for Talking Loud's K-Creative. He had continued to work Simon Richmond (Palm Skin Productions) on Mo' Wax. He had also contributed arrangements and playing for Jessica Lauren (Soul Jazz) and Jhelisa Anderson (Dorado), contributing a distinctiveness to all these projects that would only be recognised as his in retrospect. After 'Time Capsule' came out, he also played a large part in helping 4Hero develop the more organic, jazz-soul take on drum & bass that made up the first half of their "2 Pages" album. He wrote the music, arranged the strings and played sax on their "Hero" single, performing with them at live shows too. Also Chris MD'd and performed for American jazz legends James Mason, who was touring music from his Rhythm of Life album, and Doug Karn, with a set compiled from his Black Jazz Records catalogue. He has also worked as a session musician for Basement Jaxx and, perhaps most pertinent here, played in The Herbaliser live band for the last three years. It was through The Herbaliser that Bowden came into contact with Ninja Tune and began working on the material we are now releasing (the 12" Beautiful Nasty produced, incidentally, by Jake Wherry). A direct development from his work on 'Time Capsule', the new material perhaps has a looser, funkier feel, but still showcases his excellent playing and exemplary, instantly-recognisable way with a string arrangement. As for live appearances, his band may have slimmed down from Time Capsule's twelve-piece, but his current trio (who blew the roof off Ronnie Scott's at Ninja's 10 year celebrations last autumn) is set to cause serious tremors wherever they play. Chris Bowden has chosen his own path. Follow it now. spankrock.net/SAXMIX.aif


After securing a First Class (Hons) Degree from The Birmingham Conservatoire Mike found himself greatly in demand playing Double and Electric Bass. He gained vast experience from performing at small intimate Jazz Clubs with award-winning groups to appearing on Prime Time National TV with household names such as Jamie Cullum and Dame Shirley Bassey for the BBC.

Pat Sprakes will join the house trio on guitar.

Chris Bowden

A renaissance jazz man, playing sax, writing arrangements and giving great live performances.

See Chris Bowden tour dates

Mike Green

Mike Green appearing at this event

Double bass player based in Birmingham.

See Mike Green tour dates

Wendy Kirkland

Wendy Kirkland appearing at this event

“Proper jazz piano, excellent band. A very classy debut” – Dave Gelly, The Observer "Refreshing tribute to pianist singers like herself: Diana Krall, Nina Simone, Eliane Elias" - Jazzwise "Mellow and stylish" - Clive Davis, The Sunday Times "One of the great unsung heroines of British jazz. The lucid warmth of her singing is accompanied by her highly accomplished piano playing." The JazzMann "This first recording could just mark the beginning of much deserved recognition." Alan Barnes "Wendy is proof that great musicians are alive and kicking all around the UK and that they don’t have to be products of our music colleges to create high quality, entertaining music." Jim Mullen "I’ve had the pleasure of playing music with Wendy & Pat a few times & their relaxed attitude & superb musicianship means I always look forward to the next time!" Roger Beaujolais   Wendy's musical career began at age 8, when she started taking piano lessons. She won a scholarship to have all her lessons paid for by Derbyshire Music, and continued to take her ABRSM piano grades. Switching to jazz in her late teens, Wendy continued her playing career as a dance class pianist, accompanist to singers and as a keyboardist in club bands. After being persuaded to sing by a great friend and guitarist, Bill McCreath, Wendy learned to reach people who are perhaps turned off by instrumental jazz, as she learnt to communicate with the audience through the songs. Wendy's voice has been likened to Blossom Dearie with hints of Diana Krall. Her influences range from Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald through Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly to Chick Corea, Eliane Elias and Michel Petrucciani. Current projects include Piano Divas, a tribute to the female pianist singers of jazz; hammond organ jazz outfit Organik Fource featuring Pat Sprakes on guitar and guest saxophonist; Organik Trio Goes To The Movies and The Organik Cookbook celebrating the early soul-jazz albums of George Benson. Wendy is married to jazz guitarist and bass player Pat Sprakes. They met by chance on a gig and have been making music together ever since.

See Wendy Kirkland tour dates

Pat Sprakes

Pat Sprakes appearing at this event

UK established jazz guitarist who cut his teeth working with Tony Kofi in the 1990s. He was selected by Darius Brubeck to perform as part of his quartet based on a live performance. He performed for US superstar guitarist Robben Ford around the same time. Since then, Pat has been working with artists such as Wendy Kirkland, Alan Barnes, Jim Mullen, Karen Sharp, Nigel Price and has performed at clubs and festivals throughout the UK such as Brecon, Cheltenham, Edinburgh, Pershore, Marsden, and more.

See Pat Sprakes tour dates

Chesterfield Jazz Club

  • Mullen Suite, The Olde House
  • Loundsley Green Road
  • Chesterfield
  • S40 4RN

Website:
chesterfieldjazz.com