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O'Higgins/Luft Quartet:

O’Higgins/Luft Quartet: from left, Scott Flanigan (organ), Dave O’Higgins (tenor sax), Rod Youngs (drums) and Rob Luft (guitar).

O’Higgins and Luft play Monk and Trane at Jazz Hastings

An established giant of the UK Jazz scene and a young ‘firebrand’ will be coming together at the next Jazz Hastings session on Tuesday 17 December playing numbers from their new CD. Julian Norridge provides the background.

Legendary saxophonist Dave O”Higgins and award-winning 25-year-old guitarist Rob Luft will be leading a quartet playing Thelonious Monk compositions (including some that are rarely heard) and tunes played by John Coltrane with special reference to his choice of standards in the 1950s.

The playlist is taken from their new CD, O’Higgins and Luft Play Monk and Trane.

Both Monk and Trane were “modernists”, but also steeped in swing and the rich tradition of the beboppers. Dave and Rob intend to respect this lineage whilst putting their own mark on it. Expect some swing, fun, grooves and moods from this exciting new collaboration.

Dave O’Higgins’ tenor and soprano sax sounds are highly personal and recognisable, with a clear sense of melodic development and adventure. A popular performer with the public, with an excellent sense of pacing and presentation, he has a wide palette running from Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane and Joe Henderson through to Stanley Turrentine and Michael Brecker.

Dave has worked with some of the world’s finest musicians, including Jimmy Smith, Nancy Wilson, Peggy Lee, Stephane Grapelli, Abdullah Ibrahim, Jamie Cullum, John Dankworth, Cleo Lane, Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra. He was nominated for Best Tenor Sax in the 2018 British Jazz Awards.

O'Higgins & Luft

Luft and O’Higgins.

“Extraordinary talent”

Rob Luft is one of the UK’s most prominent and talented jazz guitarists, described as “an extraordinary talent” by Julian Joseph on BBC Radio 3. His debut album Riser was released in July 2017 to widespread critical acclaim. The Guardian called it “a very sophisticated debut”.

Rob was named as the Breakthrough Act of the Year in the 2018 Jazz FM awards and was nominated as British Jazz Musician of the Year in the 2018 Parliamentary Jazz Awards.

Making up the rest of the quartet are Belfast-born organist Scott Flanigan, one of the foremost keyboard players on the Irish jazz scene, who has recently performed with the likes of Van Morrison, Jean Toussaint and Jim Mullen; and London-based American drummer Rod Youngs, last seen at Jazz Hastings in February, who has played with leading jazz musicians such as Gil Scott-Heron, Courtney Pine, Jon Hendricks, Hugh Masakela and Abdullah Ibrahim.


O’Higgins/Luft Quartet Jazz Hastings, Tuesday 17 December, East Hastings Sea Angling Association (on the Stade behind the lifeboat station). Doors open 7.45pm for 8.30 start, tickets £10 on the door, £3 for under 18s.


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Posted 12:55 Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019 In: Music & Sound

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