Thursday, February 28, 2013

Venue review - Sela Bar

If you’re not careful you may miss this subterranean, Leeds bar as you walk up New Briggate. It has won venue of the year in the Jazz Yorkshire awards and being one of the most central jazz venues in Leeds I thought it was worth a visit.
So down the steps I head for the brick and plaster lined walls and stone floor, , kinda’ scruffy round the edges, with the bar one end and the stage area the other with a mishmash of pictures on the walls, and an array seating and tables leading to the stage, the place feels comfortable.
Jazz is available on Mondays in the form of the Cooler and a Jam session on Tuesdays. Entry is free. It is my understanding that something is starting up 17th March too.
Normally on Tuesday the main act starts at 9pm however with a dep drummer coming it was a 10pm start. The evening starts with a guest act for an hour or so then the jam starts after a short break.
It worries me when a sax player has looping and effects pedals, and I had previously been informed it was going to be ‘free’ but after the first number I settled into the music, the paraphernalia was not a distraction in the hands of this master sax player Jan Kopinski, his monster drawing son Stefan on bass, the jam host Nik Svarc on guitar and the depping drummer Steve Hanley. For more details of Jan and his music


The Jam session kicked off with what looked like a mix of LCM students, swapping over on piano, bass, drums and guitars as I sneaked out ‘round midnight
Having had a chat (more about that later) with Nik Svarc who runs the jam session he is really keen to have more musicians, be they amateur or professional musicians come along, Nik now lives in London, where there is a jam session every night if you know where to go. To my knowledge this is the only jam session in Leeds so it is worth getting involved.
Forth coming guests at the Jam are:
March 5th Ed Jones Quintet
Ed Jones-Sax
Jami Sheriff-Piano
Ulrich Elbracht-Guitar
Garry Jackson-Double Bass
Dave Walsh-Drums
”A formidable saxophonist. Ed Jones may have hit his highest profile through his work with bands US3 and Incognito, but he’s an improviser to his fingertips, a player of forceful imagination, and one of the Uk’s most distinctive saxophonists." John Fordham The Guardian.
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March 12th
Graham Garside Organ Trio
Graham Garside-Guitar
Martin Longhawn-Organ
Steve Hanley-Drums
'A unique jazz guitarist. Magical, compelling, and impressing with beautiful lyrical playing'..
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March 19th-Dave Hamblett Group
Dave Hamblett - Drums
Josh Arcoleo - Sax
Joe Wright - Sax
Alex Munk - Guitar
Calum Gourlay- Bass
Matt Robinson – Keys
‘delivered a sophisticated impressionistic set, that boiled up with hard-hitting solos…'-JAZZWISE
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March 26th-Alex Davis Trio
Alex Davis -Double Bass
Reuben James -Piano
Dave Hamblett-Drums
“A standout young rhythm section” - The Financial Times
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Apr 2nd -Tom Harrison Quartet

Apr 9th -Ben Lowman Quartet

Apr 16th-Jiannis Pavlidis Trio

Apr 23rd -Nik Svarc Organ Trio

Apr 30th -Russell Van Den Berg Quartet

May 7th -Matt Anderson Quartet


May 14th - "Smiling Organizm" featuring Eric Harland:
Zhenya Strigalev - Alto sax
Eric Harland (Charles Lloyd, Josua Redman) - Drums
Dany Noel Martinez (Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, Concha Buika, Celia Cruz) - bass
Steve Fishwick - trumpet (Scott Hamilton, Lew Soloff, Anita O' Day, Jamie Cullum)
Liam Noble - Piano

[Zhenya Strigalev] is a fascinating old-school/cutting-edge hybrid, with a formidable bebop-rooted sax technique, a burgeoning talent for composition, and an engaging willingness to take a chance..."
-The Guardian

"Held together by sheer bravura, raw energy and no shortage of well-placed virtuosity, Strigalev and his band whip up a a delightfully free-flowing musical storm...Smiling Organizm is Strigalev's fifth and best album to date."
-Bass Guitar Magazine

"This dashing young Russian emigré is a fearless jammer....He's in typically fast company here, leading an international sextet including fellow Russian trumpeter Vitaly Golovnev, chameleonic London pianist Liam Noble and the all-American drum'n'bass team of Eric Harland and Larry Grenadier. Bass-guitarist Tim Lefebvre joins the mix for some nimble neobop, muscular funk and a hilariously punked-up version of Midnight in Moscow. Good value If you like fun and originality with your contemporary jazz.
-4 Stars, CD of the Week, Evening Standard

Tickets £10 in advance Contact -

May 21st- Corrie Dick Quartet
May 28th-Alex Roth Quintet -Otriad

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And the schedule for the cooler is:
More details about Sela can be found on the website,
And a few more pics from the night are here

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