Expect the unexpected when Rachel’s Skein play their jazz

HEBDEN Bridge’s HX7 jazz club is hosting some of the best contemporary jazz in the UK on Thursday, April 28, when ex-Polar Bear saxophonist Rachel Musson brings her outstanding quintet Skein to town.

With a background playing in groups led by drummer Seb Rochford and avant-garde saxophonist/composer Caroline Kraabel, as well as having recorded alongside the likes of Steve Buckley and NYC-based Federico Ughi on their debut CD Flight Line, Rachel leads a stellar line-up through her vibrant and distinctive original tunes.

Both the compositions and Rachel’s playing have a strong melodic sense that is reminiscent of the Loose Tubes-era musicians. They are enlivened by two drummers (Madrid-born percussionist Javier Carmona and the jazzier Josh Morrison) and underpinned by Will Collier’s solid bass.

Add to this the distinctive pianisms of Alcyona Mick, who effortlessly fuses elements of Monk, Bartok and even gamelan music into her own unique style, and Rachel’s own improvisations which reveal a new raw, vocalized edge borne of her increasing free-improvisation leanings, and you hear a band where the unexpected can and does happen.

“Skein is an excellent band packed with musicians at the top of their game”, commented club organiser Dave Nelson. “I particularly love the way the two drummers work together so well; driving the band forward but still capable of great subtlety too.”

HX7 Jazz takes place monthly on a Thursday at the Trades Club in Holme Street, Hebden Bridge. The next gig is on May 26 when there’s a definite Continental feel to the jazz as the Tommaso Starace Quartet calls by on its extensive UK tour.

June sees two outstanding HX7 gigs during the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival. Details of these will be announced when its programme is launched on May 6.

The doors open at 7.30pm with live music starting at 8pm, and the headline band starting at 8.30pm. Ring the club on 01422 845265 to book advance tickets which are £12, and £9 for concessions and members.