Friday 28 April 2023
His’n’Hers feat. Judith O’Higgins (tenor saxophone) & Dave O’Higgins (tenor saxophone)
His’n’Hers affectionately pits Mr and Mrs O’Higgins against each other as in the movie, Mr & Mrs Smith… In reality, this is a swinging “tough tenors” band in the good humored tradition of the great Johnny Griffin - Eddie Lockjaw Davis group, who made nine albums together between 1960 and 1962. But what Griffin and Davis did together was not a competition, however apparently combative. It was collaboration, mutual inspiration, and special because of both the similarity and contrast of the two protagonists.
Judith O’Higgins was born in Hilden, Germany. She studied medicine and music education in Münster, finished university in Hamburg and became a forensic pathologist. She now lives in London with Dave. Her German autobiography/popular science book, “Spuren des Todes”, was published by Fischer Verlag in 2013.
Although Judith became a forensic pathologist, she continued playing the saxophone to a high standard and her CV includes Matthew Herbert Big Band, Two Minds Big Band, and Barnes/O’Higgins and the Sax Section. Judith also produced and played on the critically acclaimed Abstract Truth Big Band recording made under the direction of Jörg Achim Keller at the famous Abbey Road Studio in 2015.
Five years after this hugely ambitious project and with COVID-19 lockdown looming, a recording session was organized just in time before the scene froze….
Judith has a strong tenor sound that evokes the spirit of Dexter Gordon and Clifford Jordan and steps up this time as a featured soloist and composer in this group. She and Dave have written three new originals and play three “greatest hits” from their two-tenor book, honed over a few years of gigs with different rhythm sections.
Dave O’Higgins now has 24 albums as leader to his credit. His sax sounds are highly personal and recognisable, with a clear sense of melodic development and adventure. A popular performer with the public, with an excellent sense of pacing and presentation, he has a wide palette from Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane and Joe Henderson through to Stanley Turrentine and Michael Brecker. He has relentlessly pursued artistic exploration and development with a deep respect for the tradition of the music.
Dave is a highly regarded educator at the London College of Contemporary Media, where he is the Jazz Pathway Leader.
Dave has worked with some of the world’s finest musicans, including Joey Calderazzo, Joe Locke, Dave Kikowski, Eric Alexander, Grant Stewart, Max Ionata, Phil Dwyer, Adam Nussbaum, Joe Lovano, Phil Woods, Jimmy Smith, Nancy Wilson, Peggy Lee, Kurt Elling, Wayne Shorter, Eddie Gomez, Billy Childs, Abdullah Ibrahim, Chico Chagas and Stephane Grappelli. He also wrote and produced the last Matt Bianco album, “Gravity”. While his jazz career was in its early stages, Dave cut his teeth as a sideman with Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra.
Other regular bands over the years include: Darius Brubeck Quartet; Brubecks Play Brubeck; John Dankworth and Cleo Laine; Jim Mullen; Martin Taylor’s Spirit of Django; Jamie Cullum; Kyle Eastwood; BBC Big Band; Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra
Nominated Best Tenor Sax 2018 British Jazz Awards
Dave O’Higgins / Rob Luft Quartet nominated Best Band 2020 Parliamentary Jazz Awards
“A stunning player in the neo-bop vein, with an apparently effortless flow of coherent ideas, beautiful time and a highly developed harmonic sense” - JAZZ GUIDE
Judith O’Higgins - tenor sax
Dave O’Higgins - tenor sax
Graham Harvey - piano
Jeremy Brown - bass
Dave Ingamells - drums
Video 1 (“Calypso Colapso”): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoejpS-mjlU
Video 2 (His’n’Hers album trailer): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhazpIyT5eI&t=5s