Jazz Hastings kicks off 2018 with the acclaimed Olie Brice Quartet

Jazz musician Olie Brice
Jazz musician Olie Brice

The Olie Brice Quintet will be opening the year for Jazz Hastings in its monthly gig next Tuesday, January 9, at the East Hastings Sea Angling Association on the Stade, from 8.30pm.

The line-up been described by music critic Richard Williams as “one of the most interesting and satisfying bands on the current UK scene.”

Olie Brice is a double bassist, improviser and composer, and with this quintet has released two highly praised albums. The first, Immune to Clockwork, came out in 2014 and Day After Day was released last summer.

In his review, Richard Williams wrote: “I love this band, led by a brilliant bassist and completed by Alex Bonney (cornet), Mike Fletcher (alto sax), George Crowley (tenor sax) and Jeff Williams (drums). What it has is the loose-limbed fluidity I associate with the New York Contemporary Five.”

The London Jazz Blog said: “There’s nothing formulaic here, just an open, responsive approach that speaks to many strands of improvising tradition, old and new, and makes them personal.”

Olie commented about the quintet: “It’s the first time as a bandleader and composer that I’ve got close to being comfortable saying this is my music. This is what I’m trying to do.”

Olie came to his career as a professional jazz musician quite late through a love of free jazz. By the time he bought his first double base aged 22, he was already a fan of the likes of John Coltrane, Charlie Mingus, Ornette Coleman and Thelonious Monk, but he knew little of earlier jazz.

“I realized that to play the bass the way I imagined, I needed a much stronger grounding in jazz, and I started immersing myself in the history, studying theory and harmony and fell in love with the whole music – getting seriously into Louis Armstrong, Lester Young, Ben Webster, Don Byas and Billie Holiday.”

The quintet’s line-up for Jazz Hastings is that same as for the recent CD, but they will be joined by special guest Jason Yarde, who enjoys an international career as a saxophonist and composer. He has worked with some of greats in jazz including McCoy Tyner, Andrew Hill and Jack DeJonette. Tickets £10 on the door.