Dizzy Reece: Routes In Jazz

Dizzy Reece: Routes In Jazz

27th January 2019


Internationally acclaimed UK jazz pianist, composer and Berklee College Alumnus Trevor Watkis has assembled an outstanding Anglo-American band to perform a special musical retrospective of jazz trumpeter Dizzy Reece.

Alphonso 'Dizzy' Reece began his ascent into the jazz scene by initially cutting his teeth among the best musicians in 1950s London, which included Tubby Hayes, Ronnie Scott and Victor Feldman. Later, the likes of Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins put the word out on the Jamaican, who then split his time between London and Paris. Subsequently, Dizzy was sought out by a who’s who of American jazz greats.

Dizzy's unique approach to his instrument and blistering yet warm tone captured the attention of the iconic Blue Note label, for whom he recorded four albums. He subsequently went on to share the bandstand with some of the greatest international jazz legends - from Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Thelonius Monk and John Coltrane, to Dexter Gordon, Hank Mobley and Miles Davis. Occasionally, Dizzy depped for Miles when he was unable to make a performance.

The concert will honour Dizzy’s accomplishments and artistry, and to celebrate West Indians who, like he, departed the Caribbean on the HMT Empire Windrush and contributed to the rebuilding of Britain, following its destruction during the Second World War.

The musicians' pedigrees speak volumes, having between them performed with artists such as George Benson, Wynton Marsalis, Horace Silver, Kevin Eubanks, Kenny Garrett, Hugh Masakela, Bobby Hutcherson, Herbie Hancock, Gary Bartz, Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine, Roy Hargrove, Pharoah Sanders and Louis Hayes.

Trevor Watkis (Piano), Byron Wallen (Trumpet), Ralph Moore (Tenor Saxophone), Dezron Douglas (Double Bass), Willie Jones III (Drums).

“There’s a great trumpeter over in England: a guy who’s got soul and originality and above all, who’s not afraid to blow with fire.” – Miles Davis. (Liner notes from Dizzy's 1958 Blue Note debut, ‘Blues in Trinity’.)

"Throughout the album, Reece digs into his bag of sonic tricks without ever doing anything that detracts from the music." - All Music on ‘Soundin' Off’ reissue.

As British critic Kenneth Tynan of The New Yorker said: "It took London a long time to find someone who had moved with the times on trumpet. In Dizzy Reece, we found him - and as soon as we discovered what we had among us, he left us. We miss him, but our loss is America's immeasurable gain." - (Liner notes from Dizzy’s 1959 ‘Star Bright’ album.)

"Reece airs his chops on a variety of vehicles, spanning torchy ballads like ‘Ghost of a Chance’ and boppin’ romps on the ‘I Got Rhythm’ template ‘Eb Pob.’” - JazzTimes on ‘Soundin' Off’ reissue.

Tickets £17 / £15 Concessions
No Jazz Express offer on this concert
Doors open 7pm, starts 7.30pm

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