Get a jazzy start to the new year

THE first new year concert at Milestones Jazz Club on January 2 kicks off its programme of concerts for 2011, with the return of a seven-piece band devoted to the music of a jazz legend – The Mingus Project.

Composer, bandleader and double bassist Charles Mingus (1922-1979) was regarded as one of the most innovative and influential figures in modern jazz, producing soulful, exciting and volatile music, reflecting the social and political issues that gave his work its bite.

His writing redefined the boundaries of modern jazz in the 1950s and 60s, and his own band included many of the era’s finest players.

It was with this in mind that The Mingus Project was formed in 1989 to celebrate his legacy and inspiration, while also featuring a selection of East Anglia’s finest jazz musicians.

Group founder and alto-saxophonist Simon Youngman said: “The great thing about Mingus’s music is in the challenge of playing a wide variety of styles – from New Orleans jazz to avant-garde, sometimes all within one song – while always keeping the feeling of the blues at its centre.”

The septet will be performing some of Mingus’s most well-known songs like Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, Fables Of Faubus and Boogie Stop Shuffle, as well as one or two neglected gems.

The Project’s front line of four horns creates a wealth of colours and moods with a big band flavour so typical of Mingus’s music, while the piano, bass and drums of the rhythm section chatter and swing intensively.

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The band’s full line-up features Simon Youngman (alto/soprano sax), Trevor Rowland (tenor sax), Ben Higham (trumpet/tuba), Dave Amis (trombone), Tom Harris (piano), Ivars Galenieks (double bass) and Cath Evans (drums).

Listen to the music of Charles Mingus at the club website

All Milestones gigs are held on the first Sunday of every month and take place at Hotel Hatfield, Esplanade, Lowestoft with the doors opening at 8pm.

l Admission is �7/�6 (concessions). Call 01502 568684 for info and help in entering the building.