"Hitchcock’s playing certainly edges towards the more muscular end of the spectrum, but that said, I picked up hints of Dexter Gordon in some of the phrasing."
- Jazz Journal
"Hitchcock combines an awesome technical facility with a keen ear to detect and assimilate a range of classic and contemporary influences." - Jazz Views
Sunday, February 12th, 2023
New Jazz Messengers:
"All the members sparkled individually, but, even more importantly, AuB also convinced as a BAND, bound together by a unified concept, and
by the intelligent and original writing of
Barford and Hitchcock."
- The JazzMann
"A strikingly large new British jazz talent arrives with saxophonist
- Written In Music
"Stunning . . . brought to life by the next crop of scene-stealing talent." - UK Vibe.
"Exquisitely subtle collection of tunes . . . the clearest indicator to date of the stratospheric trajectory on which this super-talented quintet is indubitably heading." - All About Jazz.
When saxophonist Alex Hitchcock brought his youthful and exceptionally talented quintet to the club in 2019?, they left a lasting impression on the audience.
Four years on, Alex returns with a new group, AuB, co-led by fellow saxophonist Tom Barford, and also featuring Fergus Ireland and James Maddren. These 'New Jazz Messengers' are making huge waves as part of the next generation of instrumental virtuosi intent on doing things their way and, as Jazzwise commented when reviewing their debut album, "this quartet is firing on all four cylinders."
Alex has worked as an Ambassador for the National Youth Jazz Collective, and in 2015 collaborated with promoters Serious to produce concerts at Rich Mix through their Young&Serious programme. In 2016, he completed a postgraduate course at the Royal Academy of Music.
As well as leading his own projects, Alex plays in various other bands, including jazz funk outfit Resolution 88 (who appeared here in 2021) and the Patchwork Jazz Orchestra. He has performed with, among others, Soweto Kinch, Laurence Cottle, Stan Sulzmann, Dennis Rollins and Art Themen.
A young man with remarkable poise and self-assurance, he is a relaxed and natural bandleader who has already made a significant impact on the UK jazz scene within a very short space of time.
After joining the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO), Tom Barford studied at the Royal Academy of Music, graduating from the Jazz Course with First Class Honours in 2017. His first group as leader was the quintet Asterope. Re-christened the Tom Barford Quintet, the Asterope line-up appeared on Bloomer, Tom’s excellent 2018 leadership début for Edition Records, financed by the prize money from his 2017 Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize.
AuB features another creative rising star of the UK jazz scene and an in-demand musician, Special Guest Maria Chiara Argirò (last here in 2021 with her own group).
All AuB's members shine individually but, more importantly, also do likewise as a unit, bound together by a unified concept, and by the leaders' intelligent and original writing. The compositions are tight, authentic, but never self-indulgent, the music rooted in the jazz tradition, but happily free of cliché.
Alex Hitchcock (Tenor Saxophone), Tom Barford (Tenor Saxophone), Fergus Ireland (Double Bass), James Maddren (Drums), Maria Chiara Argirò (Synths).
Tickets: £15 / £14 Concessions. Students £8 (+ Booking Fee)
Doors: 7.00pm. 1st Set: 7.30pm