Jack's been thinking...about Dagda Quartet's tour in April

Dagda Quartet. Photo Credit: Sebastian Charlesworrth
Trumpeter/ bandleader Jack Davies, in his weekly column, looks at a nationwide tour in April by Dagda  Quartet

An often heard criticism of the modern jazz scene is that there are few opportunities to play, and even fewer to work with the same group of musicians on the same music night after night. Alto player Tom Harrison seems to prove single-handedly that this needn’t be the case.

Harrison's band, the Dagda Quartet, is embarking on its second major national tour in two years, this time visiting a total of nineteen venues across the country. While the music was communally written, Tom booked all of the players and gigs himself – this is an opportunity he has created for himself through hard work and dedication.

He remarked to me that the last tour they did changed the way the band played together. The band have an intense tour schedule, and the musical growth that occurs from such repeated immersion in the music is exactly what he is trying to achieve again.

This tour is to support the band’s debut album, and Tom notes the impact live performances have had on his own music: “Much of the structure was formulated on live gigs. A tour of this size will hopefully develop the compositions in unexpected ways.”

Alongside his regular quartet of Billy Adamson (guitar), Tom West (bass) and Mike Clowes (drums), Tom has enlisted the services of some distinguished guests, including tenor players Jean Toussaint, Joe Wright, Paul Booth and trombone player Tom White.

Tom clearly relishes the input these musicians will bring: “I have selected a series of instrumentalists who I believe will really bring something of their own distinctive playing to the compositions, each of whom offer very different approaches to improvisation and help take the compositions in new directions.”

Sharing a stage with Toussaint for four gigs in five days will also give Harrison something else that the modern scene often lacks: a taste of the kind of musical apprenticeship Toussaint had in the years from 1982 to 1986 as a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers.

Dagda Quartet's tour (supported by Jazz Services) will be in April. London dates abnnounced are 15th at the North London Tavern and 20th at the Forge in Camden Town (FULL LIST OF TOUR DATES ).

Dagda Quartet's album will be released on LYTE Records .

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