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Simon Purcell Quintet

Simon Purcell – piano
Chris Batchelor – trumpet
Julian Seigel – tenor and soprano saxophones
Gene Calderazzo – drums
Steve Watts – bass

This quintet follows the release of his album Red Circle in 2014. The review from allaboutjazz describes the approach beautifully:

“The overall feel of the album is of that period between modal jazz of the late 1950s/early 1960s and the jazz-rock fusion experiments of the latter part of the 1960s. Fans of sayWayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock will find much to enjoy—for example the way that Purcell’s piano picks its way through the solo on “Red Circle—Enchantress” over Calderazzo’s cymbal work has echoes of “Maiden Voyage.” While there are these reverberations of the past, they never overwhelm the music which is without exception well played, interesting compositions. The way that Purcell interacts with both Siegel and Batchelor on the appropriately brooding “Answers for Job” is excellent as is the mesmeric piano line he feeds between contributions as if reflecting thoughts on the challenges posed to Job by the other soloists. “
Originally known for his hard-bop group “Jazz Train” during the 1980’s, Simon has performed throughout the UK and parts of Europe, both as leader and sideman, appearing with amongst others – Red Rodney, Kenny Wheeler, Eddie Henderson, Stan Sulzmann, Jean Tousaint, Valerie Ponomarev, Dale Barlow, Julian Arguelles, Bobby Shew, Conrad Erwig and Steve Williamson.

Other musical associations with British musicians have included Julian Arguelles, Cleveland Watkiss, Mike Williams,  Ricardo Dos Santos, and singers Christine Tobin and Anita Wardell.

Currently best known as Director of the Jazz Course at Trinity College of Music, Simon’s own playing embodies the influences of pianists who formed much of the the jazz vocabulary such as Bud Powell, Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea and McCoy Tyner, as well as the British pianists John Taylor and Pete Saberton whom he sites as major influences.

The Quintet……………………….
JULIAN SEIGEL  (saxophones) has worked with many of the top figures in jazz. Recipient of the BBC Jazz Award 2007 for Best Instrumentalist, his current bands are the Julian Siegel Trio with US drummer Joey Baron and bassist Greg Cohen, Partisans, co-led for the last 10 years with guitarist Phil Robson, and the Julian Siegel Quartet featuring pianist Liam Noble. He played with the Anglo-American Big Band of US pianist Andrew Hill and has toured with the Mike Gibbs (alongside Bill Frisell, Steve Swallow and Adam Nussbaum) and Brazilian legend Hermeto Pascoal. He has performed with Django Bates Delightful Precipice and Human Chain, Dexter Gordon’s long time pianist Kirk Lightsey, John Taylor, Jazz Jamaica Big Band, Kenny Wheeler, Norma Winstone and Robert Mitchell, Julian Arguelles Octet, Gwilym Simcock, Byron Wallen’s Octet, Ingrid Laubrock, Dave Green Trio, Jason Yarde’s ‘Acoutastic Bombastic’, Mark Lockheart’s ‘Big Idea’, Colin Towns, the NDR Big Band, Stan Sulzmann’s Big Band.

CHRIS BATCHELOR  (trumpet) began playing jazz with Django Bates and Dudu Pukwana’s Zila. He was a founder member of Loose Tubes and during this time played he also played with 3 Mustaphas and the Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath. Chris has enjoyed a long and fruitful partnership with altoist Steve Buckley, releasing two CDs, “The Whole and the Half” (FMR,1995) and ‘Life as We Know it’, (Babel, 1999). They also co-led the group Big Air which included New Yorkers Jim Black and Myra Melford winning ‘Best New Work’ in the 2001 BBC Jazz Awards for the Suite ‘Ten Tall Tales”. Chris has toured extensively, including work with Michael Brecker, Sam Rivers, John Taylor, Bobby Previte, Iain Ballamy’s Food, the Julian Arguelles Octet and Hermeto Pascoal. In 2010 Chris won the Paul Hamlyn Music Foundation Award.

GENE CALDERAZZO (drums). Since locating in the UK in the 1980s, New Yorker Gene Calderazzo has done much to shape the sound of jazz in London. Both dynamic improvisational force and consummate sideman, he has worked with Steve Grossman, brother Joey Calderazzo, James Moody, Bobby Watson, Dale Barlow, Art Farmer, Wayne Krantz, Bobby Watson, Eddie Gomez, Evan Parker, Randy Brecker et al. He currently tours with Partisans, Zoe Rahman, Martin Taylor and others.

STEVE WATTS (bass). Steve has grown to be one of the most influential bass players of recent years.  Starting with the work that he did with Django Bates, Iain Ballamy at the end of the 80s, through the work with iconoclastic Billy Jenkins and pianist Kirk Lightsey. He is also one of the leading educators. Most of the new generation of bass players in the country have been taught or been influenced by Steve!

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