One of the UK’s leading avant-garde jazz saxophonists, George Haslam, performs a concert in Nunney Church on Saturday 1 November from 7pm.
Haslam plays the baritone saxophone and the tárogató, a modern version of a woodwind instrument commonly used in Hungarian and Romanian folk music. He was voted 19th All Time World Greatest Baritone Saxophonist in the Japanese Encyclopaedia of Jazz.
George Haslam performed in the free improvisational scene around London from the late 1960s, but did not begin recording until the 1980s. His first recording was issued in 1984, having been recorded while on tour in Hungary.
His ensemble, called the Siger Band, included Paul Rutherford, Pete McPhail, Tony Moore, and Nigel Morris. He played in Mexico in 1986 and in Cuba soon after; his was the first British jazz ensemble to play in the latter country.
“One of the finest musicians currently developing the art of improvisation… authoritative and highly sensitive” Wire, UK
He won the same distinction in Argentina before the end of the decade, and has returned repeatedly to this country to perform and record. He founded Slam Records in 1989 to issue his own music; the label also releases material by Steve Lacy and Mal Waldron, among others. During this time his collaborations included work with Lol Coxhill, Paul Hession, Laszlo Gardony, Ruben Ferrero and Evan Parker.
Haslam founded the British Saxophone Quartet in 1992, with Paul Dunmall, Elton Dean, and Simon Picard rounding out the membership. He also founded an ensemble called Meltdown in 1997, which issued its first record in 2001.
George is renowned for his jazz adventures from Patagonia to Lapland, Vancouver to Hong Kong – and now Nunney. Haslam arrives in our village direct from his tour of Russia and Argentina.
Here are some samples of his work with the George Haslam Quartet (Steve Waterman trumpet, flugelhorn; George Haslam, baritone saxophone; Steve Kershaw, double bass; Robin Jones drums, percussion):
More information is available on George Haslam’s website www.georgehaslam.com.
Why is a legendary bariton saxophonist like George Haslam giving this concert? George was in Nunney resident Norman Leater’s class at Kirkham Grammar School in the 1950’s, and he wants to help us ‘Raise the Roof’.
Norman Leater said, “He left school at 16 with one O level – and playing dreadful clarinet. When I met him 40+ years later, he had a PhD, his own recording company and was touring the world playing baritone sax!”
George Haslam in concert takes place in Nunney Church on Saturday 1 November at 7pm. Tickets are only £5 on the door.
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