Friday 2 February 2024
Esther Bennett Presents: „Words for Wayne Shorter”
Esther Bennett is one of the jazz scene’s most highly respected and widely loved vocalists. She juxtaposes sensitivity with a sparky sense of humour with her song delivery leaving audiences utterly compelled. Her innate sense of musicality, gleaned from her earlier years of saxophone playing and study of the jazz idiom, inform a voice that has individuality, originality and flair.
Esther’s debut album “Just in Time” was produced by multi award winning singer Ian Shaw and launched at London’s 606 Club in 2005. Since then, she has carved out a prestigious career as a jazz singer, performing extensively in major venues in and around London, across the country and in Europe, accompanied by some of the UK’s leading jazz musicians.
Her repertoire chooses original material, highly individual interpretations of jazz standards and popular songs and selections from the Duncan Lamont Songbook.
“Knock ’em dead singer” – Evening Standard
“Great Sarah Vaughan influenced singer” – Time Out Magazine
“Esther is a rare breed of performer who truly commits herself to expressing the lyrics of a song and bringing them to life in a new and innovative way” – Sound Generation
Esther says… about Wayne Shorter:
My love of Wayne Shorter's music started in the mid- late 80s when I was introduced to the album “Native Dancer" by the South African musicians with whom I was studying.
The first recording of this great artist that I ever bought was “Phantom Navigator" in 1987. During this time, he was touring a lot and thankfully, I got to see him a number of times featuring this latest recording and from his 30-year catalogue of compositions prior to this.
“Phantom Navigator” was an album that some jazz critics found too ‘far out' but, not for me. As a student of jazz, the late 80s is where I came in. The electric, rock fusion and synth sound was something that I was familiar with, and I would regularly see the American jazz artists who represented this movement at Ronnie Scott’s and the British Jazz artists who emulated it at The 606 Club.
This was Jazz. This was life. Jazz was my religion and Wayne Shorter (even more so than Miles) was the High Priest.
Though at the time, I was a saxophone student, it was the classical construction and global sonority in his compositions, of which his virtuoso playing was a component, that enraptured me. (His playing being part of a whole, was particularly evident during his time with Weather Report). It was also his philosophical and existential views on life, which were recently well documented in the great film “Zero Gravity made shortly before his death, that compelled me to this great artist.
A Jazz Prophet and one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time.
…. about her project for Jazz Café POSK: For this project, which I will be debuting at and have developed specifically for Jazz Café POSK; I have applied my lyrics, voice and poetry to a selection of my favourite Wayne Shorter compositions. I reference the aforementioned albums but, for this gig have chosen to go back to the 60s and to feature mainly, the work of his Blue Note period. I will be supported by some of our finest jazz musicians. With the band, I share the stage and frontline with saxophone and backline with the traditional jazz trio of piano, double bass and drums.
We hope that you will enjoy this very special project
Esther Bennett – vocal
Brandon Allen – saxes
Tim Lapthorn – piano
Oli Hayhurst – double bass
Flavio Li Vigni - drums
Brandon Allen: originally from Perth, Western Australia, Brandon Allen relocated to London in 2000. Since arriving in the UK, he has worked with many varied artists, groups and ensembles. A dynamic saxophonist, Brandon has performed with Eric Clapton, Jools Holland, Neil Diamond, Paloma Faith and is currently touring with Kyle Eastwood. Brandon is also busy as a session musician, composer and arranger for commercial music and films. His distinctive sound has been featured on film soundtracks including "Alfie"(2004) and "The Look of Love" (2013)
Tim Lapthorn is a highly gifted jazz pianist who has really made his mark on the British jazz scene. His bluesy, flowing, lyrical sound sets him apart from many of his contemporaries. 'Tim Lapthorn's pianistic abilities include a formidable technique and delicate touch, a wonderfully rich tone from the instrument. His equal command of strong melodicism, a loamy harmonic sense and an acute rhythmical drive make him the consummate jazz pianist” - London Jazz News
Oli Hayhurst has been one of the busiest bass players on the London jazz scene since graduating from the Royal Academy of Music in 2000. He is involved in a wide range of music playing with stars of jazz, classical and world music. He has been featured on over 60 albums and toured extensively. An extraordinary musician with an instinct for playing what a track needs and wants.
Flavio Li Vigni: Originally from Palermo, Italy, Flavio is a London-based jazz drummer, composer, and educator. He studied at The Prince Claus Conservatory with American jazz drummer Ralph Peterson and at the Guildhall School of Music. He is the Head of Jazz at Morley College London and a tutor at the Guildhall School of Music Summer School. He is a prolific player on the London jazz scene. Creative, supportive and highly proficient in all styles, Flavio is a drummer of high esteem and highly recommended.
2 Video ("Forever Now" (Ode to Duncan): https://youtu.be/qGJx8aiNjUs?si=1YzJP6Odi_vXXVi9