SPECIAL ONE OFF FRIDAY GIG - Friday 24th May - JOHN HORLER PLAYS BILL EVANS, WITH THE RONNIE JONES TRIO - £10/5 students
Critically acclaimed pianist and stalwart of the British jazz scene, John Horler presents a special evening celebrating the music of Bill Evans.
His credentials as a musician are as impeccable as they are diverse. He started studying at the Royal Academy of Music at the precocious age of sixteen. Unlike today, Jazz was not valued or studied at the Academy, so he didn’t find himself launched onto the jazz scene at an early age. But his abilities were acknowledged by the Royal Academy at a later stage when he was made an ARAM for services to music.
The route to success was through pub gigs and appearances on BBC’s Jazz Club, funded by work as a successful session musician. As his reputation grew he found himself increasingly supporting American jazz stars, such as Bob Brookmeyer, Clark Terry, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, Art Farmer, Pepper Adams, Bud Shank, and Shorty Rodgers. One of the most memorable of these events was working with Chet Baker for a week at The Canteen in Great Queen Street.
He worked closely with Pete King, Tommy Whittle, Tony Coe and the late great Ronnie Ross for many years, playing regularly in their groups and recording with them. For the last twenty years he has been first pianist to Sir John Dankworth and Dame Cleo Laine. His most recent accolade was Critics choice Jazz pianist of the year 2002.
Finally in 1993 he started making his own recordings, highlighting his own compositions alongside his favourite standard tunes. The first recording was Lost Keys recorded with Jeff Clyne and Trevor Tomkins in 1993. The most recent is the new Modern Jazz Trio album with Sam Burgess and Mike Smith - The Key to it All released by Divingduck Records in April 2007.
But John says it is the playing of Bill Evans which has been a lifelong stimulus; “Embracing the music of European composers Debussy, Ravel and even Brahms, which he welded into his own very special jazz language… Even today he is still the most influential figure in my playing… in an inspirational way…"
Supported by a well regarded West Country based rhythm section, this is a priceless opportunity to see one of Britain's most acclaimed jazz pianists playing the music he loves.
Piano - John Horler
Bass - Ron Phelan
Drums - Ronnie Jones
"Jazz and classical idioms live happily side by side in the benign and often surprising world of pianist and composer John Horler. It’s best not to try second-guessing him, just wait and enjoy what emerges.
"Horler does what only the very best can do: he creates a version that is completely his own while also conveying the essence of the original."
Dave Gelly, John Horler: Free and Easy review - Delights from Bach to Basie, (The Guardian, 15th July 2018).