As a founding member of jazz masterminds Snarky Puppy, Bill Laurance knows more than most about what it takes to create awe-inspiring music. Judging by his most recent solo albums, Flint, Swift, and the most recent Aftersun (which fuses jazz with dance and African percussion and features New Orleans’ Weedie Braimah), the exposition of pure pianistic talent on display at Sage Gateshead on Tuesday 28th February is going to be something special.
With an exciting line-up of top UK musicians in Joshua Blackmore (drums), Felix Higginbottom (percussion & keys) and Chris Hyson (bass), Bill tells me that in addition to material from his current solo albums mentioned above there will be “a world premiere of some new material.” For the technophiles, keep an eye out for the stunning Roli Seaboard (keyboard) that Bill uses: it’s a very naughty piece of kit, and Mr. Laurance has quickly become a world leading master of it.
Grammy-winning Bill Laurance’s compositions are undeniable proof that jazz music can be both edifyingly cerebral and pant-shakingly fun at the same time, and if you have never dipped your toe into the jazz paddling pool, then this gig is the ideal first step. I wouldn’t describe Bill as a genius: he’s better than that.