PREVIEW: Knoel Scott Quartet – A Knight of Harlem Jazz (100 Club, 5th November)

Knoel Scott. Photo credit: Jennifer Winkler

Alto saxophonist Knoel ‘King Tut’ Scott, originally from the Jamaica district of Queen’s in New York, has been a member of the Sun Ra Arkestra since 1979. He once described the Sun Ra experience like this: “Always happiness, always joy, always appreciation and gratefulness. People everywhere are always ecstatic to experience the music of Sun Ra.” (FULL INTERVIEW FROM 2011).

Since he now spends most of the year in London, he has started a quartet with London-based musicians. The group are Charlie Stacey (piano), Shane Forbes (drums) and Michele Montolli (bass), and they will be at the 100 Club in Oxford Street on November 5th).

All three have kindly given us their thoughts about the new quartet and about this forthcoming gig (thank you!!) :

Charlie Stacey: :

“Playing with Knoel means experiencing the tradition of jazz as a living truth, not a museum artefact. The musical connection we are establishing is enriched by the spirituality and emotional honesty at the core of his music. I am discovering more each time we play together, and feel as if my ears have opened since the beginning of this process of discovery.”

Michele Montolli:

“Playing with such an experienced and original musician is a blessing. For many of my generation that are in love with jazz but didn’t grow up in the 50’s this is not just an opportunity to listen and learn that sound, but also to see how they  experienced music and shared it with the band. The fact that Knoel played with Sun Ra influences the way he rehearses with us.  There’s always a fresh, improvisational approach to every tune, so that an arrangement could change right in the middle of the performance.

“I learned from Knoel that is not the perfection that makes music such a special experience, but honesty at heart and commitment to its roots and the human experience.”

Shane Forbes

“I find it most inspiring and refreshing to play music that is so open and has lots of freedom for the musicians, but also doesn’t lose its engagement with the audience. Knoel has a great concept for this kind of setting.”