gigs and news

May 2022
1 with Kai Hoffman quintet , Swing Festival, Sandwich 
3 With kai Hoffman trio, The Three Horseshoes, Sevenoaks
8 With Leslie Phillips and the Stowaways, The Nags Head Walthamstow
11 With Peter Adamson, The Rosewood, Holborn
13 With Lily Dior Trio, Lokkum, South Woodford
14 With Riamba, The Moonwalk, Clapham Common
15 With Jenny Howe and the Stowaways, The Nags Head Walthamstow
21 With Patrick Naylor, Cinnamon Club, Westminster
21 With Bruno Monterio, The Corinthia, Westminster
22 With Shireen Francis and the Stowaways, The Nags Head Walthamstow
13 With Peter Adamson, The Rosewood, Holborn
28 With Albanico Blue, Bury St Edmunds
29 With Kat Eatonvand the Stowaways, The Nags Head Walthamstow

13 Josh Kemp quartet at Bexley Jazz Club
28 Josh Kemp trio with Nigel Price and  Ross Stanley The Three Horseshoes, Sevenoaks

6 Josh Kemp quartet with Nigel Price, Twickenham Jazz Club

UK TOUR WITH THE COLTRANE PROJECT featuring the Love Supreme Suite - more details to come



"Jazz is cool again, report the latest editorials. But, launching his album Rare Groove at the Pizza Express, Josh Kemp embodied the spirit that sustains jazz no matter which way the weather vane of vogue is pointing. Kemp is a musician at the coal face of jazz, his expression of the idiom uncut with additives or E numbers. No slugged hip hop beats or EDM drops here, just 100 per cent free-range swing.

His ensemble of outstanding sidemen ring every drop of groove from Kemp's compositions. 'Stirred not Shaken', a high-wire hard-bop blend of 'Straight, No Chaser' and 'Sweet Georgia Brown', sees Arnie Somogyi's blisteringly groovy basslines meld with Ross Stanley's perfectly weighted piano voicings. Kemp's own playing recalls the soulful fluidity of Hank Mobley, an influence alluded to with a cover of Harry Warren's 'The More I See You'. But his sound isn't tied to any particular tenor touchstone; his improvisatory language speaks of a deep and comprehensive engagement with the jazz canon.

Kemp is no historical re-enactor of jazz's glorious past, however. His compositions speak of an impulse for creation not curation. From a selection of grittier grooves in a second set that saw Ross Stanley switch to Hammond organ 'Home Cookin'' stood out. The riotous New Orleans inspired jam, propelled by Chris Higginbottom's stomp-inducing second line beat, turns out to be inspired by building work undertaken in Kemp's kitchen. Many of the pieces have domestic inspiration, from Kemp's daughter's bedtime ('Turn on the Dark'), which hints at Head Hunters-era Herbie, to a moody, bluesy meditation on his Walthamstow home ('East Wind').

Kemp's domestic vignettes tell of a jazz-man in the finest tradition. A fierce talent, cemented by studious shedding, who is practising a devotion to the genre that is rarely glamorous and often hard. If music is its own reward, we are lucky that we can share in Josh Kemp's gift."