Jazz preview: Feb 24-Mar 2

Gwilym Simcock, London | McCoy Tyner Septet, London

Gwilym Simcock
London

Gwilym Simcock played piano on a Kenny Wheeler birthday tour two years ago - and the turn of the head and raising of an eyebrow with which sax legend Lee Konitz greeted his first solo said everything. Still in his 20s, Simcock has already ascended to the podium occupied by only a handful of UK jazz pianists, from George Shearing to Stan Tracey, Julian Joseph or John Taylor. His direct influences are Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea and John Taylor, but classical music influences him just as much, particularly Ravel and Stravinsky. Those associations have him lined up for a project with composer Mark-Anthony Turnage, and his groups range from trios to big bands, to 40-piece ensembles featuring gospel choirs and strings. Now Simcock's a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, notable as he's the first ever jazz musician to qualify.

· New Vortex, N16, Sun 25; 606 Club, SW10, Mon 26

McCoy Tyner Septet
London

You can hear at least a little McCoy Tyner - those pounding, ecstatic chord patterns, the streaming runs, the Latin-jazz rhythm patterns, the looping, trancelike riffs - in the work of almost every contemporary jazz pianist. A crucial member of John Coltrane's famous 1960s quartet, he had stamina and invention to equal that driven saxophonist's marathon performances. After Coltrane died in 1967, Tyner began to explore a more melodic and explicitly sociable music, with Latin and fusion imports, but still wanted to get as close to the edge as he could. This show is a one off created for the Barbican Jazz programme, built around a tribute to the legendary Impulse Records label, which recorded Coltrane and other free jazz pioneers through thick and thin. Joining a nucleus of regular Tyner musicians including the resourceful trombonist and conch player Steve Turre are local jazz stars Jason Yarde (sax/arranger) and Byron Wallen (trumpet).

· Barbican, EC2, Mon 26

Contributor

John Fordham

The GuardianTramp

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