Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Gilad Atzmon.

Gilad Atzmon.

Leading saxophonists grace Jazz Hastings stage

Two of the leading saxophonists on the UK jazz scene – Alan Barnes and Gilad Atzmon – are in town next Tuesday, 6 June, for Jazz Hastings’ regular monthly session at the East Hastings Sea Angling Association on the Stade. Julian Norridge describes what waits in store.

The Alan Barnes/Gilad Atzmon Quintet will be launching their latest album, The Lowest Common Denominator. It features daring new arrangements giving the American songbook a good shake, digging into their bop and post-bop bags and coming up with some outrageous original numbers.

Alan Barnes is a prolific international performer, composer, arranger and bandleader, playing alto and baritone sax and the clarinet. As a young man he was recognised – and hired – by such established greats as Stan Tracey, John Dankworth and Humphrey Lyttelton.

Alan Barnes.

Alan Barnes.


He has made over 30 albums as leader or co-leader and played with such luminaries as Björk, Bryan Ferry, Jools Holland and Jamie Cullum. He has received over 25 British Jazz Awards, most recently in 2014 for clarinet, and has twice been named as BBC Jazz Musician of the Year.

Multi-instrumentalist Gilad Atzmon plays saxophones, clarinet and ethnic woodwind instruments. He tours extensively – the Guardian has called him the “hardest-gigging man in British jazz” – and has recorded 15 albums. His album Exile was the BBC jazz album of the year in 2003.

In 1998 he joined Ian Dury’s band The Blockheads and remained with them after Dury’s death. He has recorded with Robbie Williams, Sinead O’Connor and Paul McCartney and is featured on Pink Floyd’s last album The Endless River.

Much influenced by both John Coltrane and Charlie Parker, Atzmon’s powerful playing style combines great bebop artistry with Middle-Eastern roots (he was born in Israel). His live performances have been described as “breathtaking and overwhelming”.

Distinguished musicians

The rest of the quintet are also distinguished musicians. Frank Harrison on piano has been a long-standing member of Gilad Atzmon’s Orient House Ensemble.

Yaron Stavi on bass has performed all over the world, playing double and electric bass and crossing genres between rock, classical, jazz and world music. Chris Higginbottom on drums is currently a member of the Kyle Eastwood band and Ronnie Scott’s AllStars.

The evening promises great music and a lot of humour. Both Barnes and Atzmon have a passion for performance, a healthy sense of competition and a firm belief that jazz should be a lot of fun.


Alan Barnes/Gilad Atzmon Quintet Jazz Hastings June session, Tuesday 6 June, East Hastings Sea Angling Association (on the Stade behind the lifeboat station). Doors open at 7.45pm for an 8.30 start, tickets £10 on the door.

Posted 14:26 Tuesday, May 30, 2017 In: Music & Sound

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