The return to Leeds of a very special band led by a former Jazz Messenger. Grammy-winning saxophonist Jean Toussaint who first came to prominence when he joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in 1982. Since moving to London in 1987, Toussaint has released ten critically-acclaimed CDs as a leader. Tonight he presents his 11th album, Brother Raymond, as part of a UK tour with a truly all-star quintet.
The music of “Brother Raymond” builds on the legacy of Art Blakey but above all confirms Toussaint’s place as an accomplished composer at the forefront of modern jazz. Stand-out tracks include the opening ‘Amabo’, an African groove dedicated to Barack Obama. The title track draws upon the influences of Toussaint’s favourite composers, “Duke” Ellington and Wayne Shorter.
“Art used to say “it doesn’t matter how complex you want to play as long as you swing and play from the heart” then he’d cite the great John Coltrane as an example. I owe it all to the great Art Blakey and I’ll be a Jazz Messenger for life.” …Jean Toussaint
Born in the Caribbean, Grammy-winning jazz saxophone giant Jean Toussaint started his musical career in a calypso band before studying jazz at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. He began his international career as a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in 1982. After four and a half years in the band alongside Terence Blanchard, Donald Harrison, Lonnie Plaxico and Mulgrew Miller, he settled in London, quickly becoming a key figure in British jazz. Toussaint has maintained a considerable presence as bandleader in Europe having recorded 10 albums as a leader. As a sideman, Toussaint has worked with McCoy Tyner, Max Roach, Cedar Walton, Gil Evans and Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts.
The last few years he has played the North Sea Jazz festival Holland, Montreux Jazz festival Switzerland, Clermont-Ferrand, Vienne, Toulouse and Paris Jazz festivals, Bologna Jazz festival, San Sebastian Jazz festival, Berlin Jazz festival, Cork, Dublin and Sligo Jazz festivals, London and several other jazz festivals around England and Scotland, and jazz clubs and concerts halls all over Europe.
Jean Toussaint – Tenor Sax, Percy Pursglove – Trumpet, ,Jonathan Gee – Piano,
Alec Dankworth – Bass, Shane Forbes – Drums
Jean Toussaint Quintet – Brother Raymond @Seven Arts 15 November 8pm Tickets Full £18 concession £16 , under 25’s £9
Support is from the Nico Widdowson trio
Tickets here : www.ticketsource.co.uk/jazzleeds
Address: Seven Arts 31A Harrogate Rd, Leeds LS7 3PD