It would be hard to celebrate contemporary British Jazz without including a contribution from Django Bates. In a career full of highlights, for me Django’s greatest gift of the last decade has been his most unexpected; the creation of a piano trio. Bates is most famed for his work with large groups – most notably Loose Tubes, but with his Beloved Trio we’re reminded of his mastery of the piano. He’s a mesmerising and joyful player and in this week’s show, as part of BBC Radio 3’s ongoing celebration of British music, we bring you another chance to hear Django and Beloved recorded live.
As you will hear from this gig it’s astounding how much the group has developed since it first began to reimagine Charlie Parker's music 3 years ago, and Bates admits it has really become to feel like ‘his trio’. Highlights include ‘Billies’ Bounce’ where Parker’s famous blues is ingeniously fragmented and gradually deconstructed over complex rhythmic playing from Peter Bruun on drums and Petter Eldh on bass. Sensitive moments come on ‘Ah Leu Cha’ and the Bates-penned ‘Senza Bitterness’, where his cascading lines and flourishes at the keyboard really dazzle. Django also drops into the studio to talk about his unusual jazz dreams and dancing around after a day's work, while I probe his influences by putting him to the MP3 shuffle test, revealing disco, Mexican orchestral music and plenty in between.
Also on the programme, we take a journey to the home of improvising bassoonist Mick Beck (http://mickbeck.com/), whose back room doubles as one of the country’s most unusual and interesting free-music venues.
Join me on Monday 10 June from 11pm, or listen online for seven days after broadcast.