Jazz at Progress | Chris Laurence Quartet | Buy tickets

Thursday 29 March | Progress Theatre, Reading | 7:30pm | £18.00 (£16.00 concessions) plus maximum 5% booking fee

Chris Laurence double bass, Frank Ricotti vibraphone, John Parricelli guitar, Martin France drums

Chris Laurence is that rare creature of British music; a musician whose work encompasses the whole range of musical genres: classical music as principal bassist with the Academy of St Martin’s in the Fields Orchestra; film credits with such Oscar nominated movies as The Constant Gardener, and studio recordings with Sarah Vaughan, Sting, Elton John and Gregory Porter amongst many others. His presence on any session is a hallmark of quality and creativity. Hence, his formidable jazz CV includes work with Mike Westbrook, John Surman, John Taylor and a long association with Kenny Wheeler.

Compositions by each of these great musicians, together with some standards and titles by Stan Sulzmann and Steve Swallow, form the quartet’s repertoire, described by one critic as ‘a cornucopia of melodic abstraction’.

Frank Ricotti was voted Melody Maker’s top vibraphone player back in his teens, and has since remained in constant demand as the first choice percussionist and composer for records, film scores, jingles and TV shows. He has worked with many of this country’s favourite jazz musicians having performed at many clubs and festivals including the Montreux Jazz Festival. Over the years he has played alongside Stan Tracey, John Taylor, Mike Gibbs, Kenny Wheeler, Norma Winstone, Gordon Beck, John Surman and Stan Sulzmann.

John Parricelli began his professional guitar playing career in 1982, and has since worked in various areas of music. He was one of the founder members of the innovative band Loose Tubes in the 1980s, with whom he toured and recorded three albums. Since then he has pursued a varied career, including work with Kenny Wheeler, Andy Sheppard, Iain Ballamy, Norma Winstone, Julian Arguelles, Tim Whitehead, Eddie Parker, Mark Lockheart, Martin Speake, Annie Whitehead, Gerard Presencer, Lee Konitz, Paul Motian, and the WDR Band with Peter Erskine and Vince Mendoza, amongst others.

Martin France has recorded with many of the world’s finest musicians on the acclaimed ECM label, and performed in concerts and tours in over 40 countries, spanning all five continents. He began his remarkable career aged 12, backing singers as part of an organ trio playing in Manchester Working Men’s Clubs. Like John Parricelli, he was a member of Loose Tubes where he began long standing partnerships with many of its members such as Django Bates and Iain Ballamy, and beyond, with Kenny Wheeler, Dave Holland and Stan Sulzmann.

‘These four players, every one a star, are at their absolute peak … you could be listening to a beautifully recorded album … a perfect storm of melodic and almost free form swinging perfection.’ Brian Blain (London Jazz News)