We welcome back a genuine legend of British jazz, tonight playing with this group of musicians some of whom are well established, others new to the scene.
Bobby Wellins, saxophone
Liam Noble, piano
Mark Lewandowski, bass
Dave Wickins, drums
Possibly Wellins’s most famous recorded performance was his solo on Starless and Bible Black for Stan Tracey’s Under Milk Wood suite. His recording career started in 1956 when he joined the legendary Buddy Featherstonhaugh’s piano-less quintet, the line-up of which featured Kenny Wheeler on trumpet. Bobby was by now playing tenor saxophone, the instrument to which he has devoted himself to the present day. In the early 1960′s Bobby was recruited by Tony Crombie for his latest band, in the ranks of which Bobby began a long association with the great British pianist Stan Tracey, now sorely missed.
Dave Wickins’ approach to drumming is unique. His playing is both spontaneous and disciplined, combining the creativity of free improvisation with strong reference to form and structure. Dave is said to be one of the UK scene’s best kept secrets. He is an amazing and mischievous percussionist, manipulating whispering brushes, judiciously applied mallets and breathing cymbals. Dave, who originally studied with Philly Joe Jones, works with Liam Noble, Harry Beckett and Bobby Wellins plays in Kirk Lightsey’s European trio, with Joe Lee Wilson, Martin Speake and with Peter Churchill. He also runs the Glamorgan jazz summer school, now relocated to Trinity College of Music in London.
After studying music at Oxford University and the postgraduate course at the Guildhall, Noble became the regular pianist with Stan Sulzmann (in both duo and quartet settings) on John Taylor’s recommendation. He went on to work in the bands of Anita Wardell, Harry Beckett, Tim Whitehead and John Stevens as well as recording and touring with cult minimalist composer Moondog. During this period, he also performed with John Taylor (as part of Stan Sulzmann’s two piano quintet), Kenny Wheeler and Lol Coxhill.
Mark Lewandowski is an up and coming bassist living in London, currently studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. A new face on the London jazz scene, he has been described as having a “huge vibrant, singing tone (producing) some amazing solos with the agility and articulation of a horn player” (Nottingham evening post) He has had the opportunity to perform with some of the most exciting improvisers in the british jazz scene including Liam Noble, Zoe Rahman, Jean Toussait, Tina May, Soweto Kinch, Peter King, John Surman and Buddy Greco amongst others. Mark has performed at such venues as Ronnie Scott’s and has taken part in a range of festivals including the London Jazz Festival and the Glasgow International Jazz Festival.