Looking back on a jazz year full of star names

IT has been a year of star names at the HX7 Jazz Club in 2011.

Organiser Dave Nelson reflects on the past 12 months and looks ahead to what’s in store for audiences in 2012

The 2011 season got off to a great start. The club celebrated its first birthday in January with a great double bill featuring Dublin band Zrazy and, from nearer home, Ben Crosland’s superb hard-driving quartet.

Drummer Dylan Howe’s Quartet visited the club in February, and in March there was a sell-out crowd when the legendary Snake Davis brought his silky soprano playing to the Trades.

A popular choice indeed, but the HX7 Club is also keen to promote less-well known artists such as Rachel Musson’s band Skein, who performed in April, and the excellent Tomasso Starace Quartet in May, which featured a truly international line-up.

June and July’s concerts took place as part of the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival and the first one featured world-class trombonist Dennis Rollins with his Velocity Trio.

There was a packed house for this, and also for Brazilian singer Monica Vasconcelos’ band the following week when there was somewhat more dancing in the aisles than is usually seen on jazz nights.

After the summer break, September saw Didier Malherbe’s amazing Hadouk Trio perform their own unique style of world jazz.

It was an unforgettable night, again witnessed by a sell-out audience.

American drummer Robert Castelli brought his quartet here in October.

The line-up included a Swiss guitarist, an Italian bass player and a sax player from New Zealand.

Just East, whose music blends jazz with klezmer and other Oriental influences, visited the club in November.

The year was rounded off by the brilliant Stuart McCallum Trio just before Christmas.

All in all it was a great year of jazz, with a remarkable variety of both styles and line-ups which featured an exhilarating mix of regional, national and international artists.

2012 looks set to continue in much the same way when HX7 Jazz welcomes back firstly Israeli drummer Asaf Sirkis’ Trio in January, then local hero Rod Mason’s band Elements in February.

Later in the year, the club will, subject to confirmation, be featuring Submotion Orchestra (with singer Ruby Wood), TrioVD, Timezone and many more great bands and musicians.

HX7 Jazz Club meets monthly on a Thursday night at the Trades Club in Hebden Bridge.

Keep up to date with all the upcoming concerts at www.hx7jazz.com.