Southern soul swamp from trio of jazz greats at Ent Shed

Frank Griffiths at the Ent Shed, Bedford.
Frank Griffiths at the Ent Shed, Bedford.

A trio of internationally recognised Bedfordians will be appearing at the Ent Shed in town next week.

USA born saxophonist Frank Griffith, who lives off Goldington Road, has played with everyone from Mel Torme, John Dankworth and Cleo Laine to The Temptations.

Fellow American, organist and vocalist Charlie Wood, who lives in the Castle Road area, regularly graces the stage with his wife, vocalist Jacqui Dankworth.

Born and bred in Memphis, Tennessee, Charlie sustained a longstanding residency at The Kings Palace on Beale Street attracting the likes of BB King, Georgie Fame and George Coleman among others.

Drummer Nic France, has worked with British and American jazz luminaries including Charlie Haden and Mose Allison to Django Bates, Tim Garland and Ronnie Scott.

The trio will perform Southern, soul-tinged favourites at the venue in Castle Road on Thursday, August 7.

A spokesman for the gig said: “Wood’s organ along with his swamp-like vocals will douse the proceedings with verve and swaggery acumen. Griffith’s gutbucket sax will be spoilin’ away alongside the propulsive yet grease drenched drumming of Nic France.

“The delivery of Muscle Shoals classics like Cissy Strut, The Chicken, Funji Mama, Aint No Sunshine and High Heel Sneakers will delight jazz audiences with a soul purpose.”

The jazz nights at the Ent Shed are on the first Thursday of the month and are organised by local trumpeter, Tom Syson, and his fine crew of hard-working and talented jazzers.

The Tom Syson/Dan Smith Quintet will open the show on August 7 at 7.30pm.

There is also a jam session at 10.30pm for anyone to take part.

Another Dankworth progeny, grand-daughter Emily Dankworth, will be appearing at the venue on Monday, August 4.