Gig Details

Friday 10 May. 20:00 – 22:30.

At Crookes Social Club

Full £15, Concessions £12, Student with NUS card £8, 15 – 17 year olds £3, Under 15s Free. CASH ONLY on door.

Advance tickets available from buy.sivtickets.com/sheffieldjazz at the same net price as on the door.

Chris Biscoe: alto sax and alto clarinet; Tony Kofi: alto and tenor sax; Chris Batchelor: trumpet; Kate Williams: piano; Larry Bartley: bass; Gary Willcox: drums

 A rousing gig to round off the Spring 2019 season: the return of the sextet who were so good at the Crucible Studio in Autumn 2015. A band inspired by the orchestral colour and spontaneous feel of Charles Mingus’s small group music, they have developed an increasingly individual approach, exploring new directions while continuing to reflect the spirit of that music. “Uplifting, exuberant, rousing yet consistently intelligent music: Mingus would undoubtedly have approved.”(The Times)

Formed in 2011 in response to a request by Ray Davies for a band playing Mingus material on the Southbank Meltdown Festival which he curated, the Mingus Profiles Sextet concentrates on Charles Mingus’s musical portraits of friends, lovers, political enemies, musicians and one cat. All the material is taken from the Mingus songbook, but the treatment varies from number to number, so some pieces are transcriptions adapted to the line-up of the band, while others involve reworkings such as extended chord sequences, extra lines, or assembling tunes into a mini-suite.

Chris Biscoe, who contributes most of the arrangements, writes: “Mingus Ah Um was the first Mingus record I heard, the first I bought, and remains my favourite for the amazing variety of inspiring solos and arrangements it incorporates.  It is inevitable that music featured on this record should be at the core of the band repertoire.”

Profiles of Mingus, the recording of new performances of music by Charles Mingus released on Trio Records has received high praise and was shortlisted for CD of the year by several critics, including John Fordham and Alyn Shipton.

Chris Biscoe has appeared as a soloist on more than 40 albums, including records with George Russell, Mike Westbrook, Andy Sheppard and The Brotherhood of Breath. Major tours include the Hermeto Pascoal Big Band, The New York Composers Orchestra and (alongside Tony Kofi) the David Murray Big Band with Macy Gray. The two CDs with Tony, Gone in the Air and Live at Campus West have received excellent reviews. Blythe spirits is a new quartet with Chris Batchelor and Gary Willcox, while Two of a Mind, the band co-led with Allison Neale is appearing regularly around the country.

Tony Kofi is a member of the World Saxophone Quartet and the Jamaaladeen Tacuma group, and he has recorded with Ornette Coleman. He has appeared with Andrew Hill, David Murray, Abdullah Ibrahim and Sam Rivers, in Byron Wallen’s group Indigo, and he has worked extensively with Chris Biscoe in Grand Union, the David Murray Big Band and the Profiles Quartet featuring the music of Eric Dolphy.  In 2008 he was BBC Jazz Awards Instrumentalist of the Year, and his album All is Know was a double award winner in 2005 (BBC and Parliamentary Jazz Awards). More recently he has been featured with Alan Barnes in Aggregation and in the Alina Bzhezhinska Quartet, as well as leading A Portrait of Cannonball and Tony Kofi and The Organisation.

Chris Batchelor is a leading light of the hugely popular and influential big band Loose Tubes, Chris has gone on to be featured with international stars such as Tim Berne, Michael Brecker, Hermeto Pascoal, Sam Rivers and Uri Caine. He is a noted composer and bandleader, with Big Air, the popular avant-trad band Pigfoot and Zoetic amongst his projects.

Kate Williams was a Young Jazz Musician of the Year prizewinner and leads her own Trio, Quartet and Quintet and Septet, as well as being much in demand by other bandleaders. She released Smoke and Mirrors, a duo CD with Bobby Wellins, and Kate Williams Four Plus Three featuring her trio plus string quartet and she now leads the trio plus string quartet and Georgia Mancio.

Larry Bartley is a leading member of the contemporary jazz scene, featured with the bands of Byron Wallen, Ingrid Laubrock and Jason Yarde. He leads and writes all the material for Just Us.

Gary Willcox leads a quartet featuring Steve Main and Ross Stanley and plays regularly at Ronnie Scott’s Club.


Reviews for Profiles of Mingus – Trio TR585

“…flows with all the force of the originals, the ensemble broiling somewhere between whitewater and wildfire”…Tim Cumming, The Independent,  Album of the week

“Biscoe’s sparkling arrangements and splendid playing vividly capture Mingus’s sprawling, rumbustious energy, while giving the music a fresh twist.”… Kenny Mathieson, The Scotsman

Reviews for Gone in the Air – The Music of Eric Dolphy – Trio TR578

“Spirits of adventure infuse this release: Biscoe and Kofi complement each other wonderfully” …..Brian Glasser, Jazzwise

“….an exhilarating, heady rush of music”….Chris Parker, Vortex Website

“….music which is utterly compelling”…….Pete Martin, Jazz UK