Simon Woolf's All-Star Quintet

Monday, 1st Nov 2010

Tickets £12, Doors 7pm, Music 9pm

Simon Woolf's All-Star Quintet

Karen Sharp - tenor sax Mattias Eskilsson - trombone John Horler - piano Matt Fishwick - drums Simon Woolf - bass

A lyrical double-bassist in the tradition of the incomparable Red Mitchell, Simon Woolf attributes his love of melody to hours spent as a child, father at the piano, singing through the works of Franz Schubert. A late starter on bass, Simon Woolf took up both electric and acoustic instruments during the final year of a music degree course at York University, exploring free improvisation and soul music as well as arranging and playing for a more conventional jazz quintet.

Re-locating in London, Simon Woolf developed his jazz playing under the tutelage of Tristano disciple Peter Ind, while pursuing a varied career as a freelance bassist, primarily in West End theatre. A re-kindling of interest in classical music led to a year’s intensive study of orchestral double-bass at the (now defunct) National Centre for Orchestral Studies followed by a return to musical theatre for a year long tenure in the National Theatre production of ‘High Society’ (cast included Natasha Richardson, Stephen Rae, Trevor Eve).

Attempts to relieve the monotony of eight shows a week provided the launchpad for Simon’s long association with Andy Panayi, when drummer (and High Society colleague) Paul Clarvis started the quartet ‘Tailpiece’, completed by Panayi and Phil Lee.

Following a trip to New York, Simon Woolf befriended the great bassist Michael Moore, then on sabbatical in England playing piano and composing. The ensuing period of study and collaboration led to associations with such legendary jazz figures as Ruby Braff and George van Eps and an extended engagement in San Francisco with singer Weslia Whitfield

More recently, Simon has developed a teaching career, inspiring young bass players across London at all ages – he continues to perform in the Andy Panayi Quartet, touring the new CD The Solar Cats and has appeared at Ronnie Scott’s with Benny Golson

Now firmly established as one of the country’s leading Jazz bass players, his band reflects his interest in melodic, straight-ahead jazz – expect a blend of originals and Simon’s arrangements of Jazz standards, delivered by a truly classy ensemble that also features Karen Sharp on tenor and Mat Fishwick on drums.

"...spirited, melodic and swinging.” The Observer