Blazing Flame Quintet
Flame Quintet are (left2right) Julian Dale (double bass, cello), Peter Evans (5 string electric violin), Anton Henley (drums,
percussion), Steve Day (voice, words, percussion), Mark Langford (tenor sax, bass clarinet). Details of the band's activities will be available on this web
page. They can be contacted via earssteveday(at)aol(dot)com
Blazing Flame Quintet have recorded a new album for Leo Records to be released in Summer 2017. They are playing a number of selected dates in the UK. Initial early bookings include:
- Wednesday 29th March 2017 - The Greenbank Hotel, Bristol BS5 6DP
- Wednesday 5th April 2017 - The Vortex, London N16 8AZ
- Friday 2nd June 2017 - Cafe Kino, Bristol BS1 3RU
- Sunday 6th August 2017 - Ashburton-Live, St Lawrence Chapel, Ashburton TQ17 7DD
- Friday 29th September 2017 - Cafe Kino, Bristol BS1 3RU
- Friday 6th October 2017 - Chew Valley Arts Project, B&NES
- Friday 17th November 2017 - Cafe Kino, Bristol, BS1 3RU
There's a buzz about
Flame Quintet which makes these dates 'must-go-to' gigs. German writer, Rigobert Dittman described
vocalist/poet Steve Day's music as having "astonishing imagination and an
alchemical flame..." The UK's top jazz
magazine, Jazzwise, has referred to Peter Evan's violin performance being
on "starling form". Mark Langford (tenor sax, bass clarinet), has a reputation as a phenomenal musician with 'underground improv' status. The bass/drums team of Julian Dale and Anton
Henley fuse orchestral composition and the blues. Jazz author Marcus O'Dair likened Steve Day
to a cross between Tom Waits and Vic Reeves before stating: "....if that sounds
absurd, it isn't."
The New Album (Summer 2017)
The Set List Shuffle
(Leo Records CD LR 788)
Click on King Of The Rain, a track from The Set List Shuffle,
filmed during the recording of the album.
Background Information on Blazing Flame
Blazing Flame Quintet is the working incarnation of a collective ensemble originally formed around Steve Day's recordings for Leo Records. See discography. The BF Quartet (The Set List Shuffle line-up) was formed in the Autumn of 2016.
- Steve Day: Author/writer/poet/voice/percussion. The home page of this website provides an introduction. To read his regular reviews go to Sandy Brown Jazz What's New magazine, posted/published monthly. Live, he enacts original song form with improvisation. "Ornette Coleman to Langston Hughes are among my milestones. I am who I am, carrying many different writers in my pocket; Yeats, Snyder, Plath and Beckett, plus jazz writers like the great Valerie Wilmer. Eventually you realise you are somewhere on your own and you have to let them all go to some degree."
- Peter Evans: 5-string electric violin/violin. Peter Evans is not simply an electric violinist. There is nothing simple about his approach to music. He had a long association with the Bird Architects, an electric band who broke new ground in bridging 'rock', 'jazz' and 'fusion'; taking the results to many unlikely venues. His composition Furlongs Dash is a classic of the genre. As well as being a central force within Blazing Flame Quintet, it is also possible to catch Evans performing the classical repertoire with the Dorian String Quartet and other orchestral ensembles.
- Mark Langford: Tenor saxophone/bass clarinet. Mark Langford was a founder member of Bristol Music Coop, a catalyst for free improvised music in the South West. Wind & Fingers, Both Hands
Free, Thinko Jazz, Outloud and Bullit were just some of the key bands in which he has played reeds, keyboards, and acted as composer. He has now quickly established himself as a vital voice within Blazing Flame Quintet, but is also involved in free 'jazz'/improvising ensembles with such players as Phil Gibbs, Paul Anstey, Bob Helson, Dominic Lash, Tony Orrell and Roger Telford. Check out the recordings, Fringe Music and Exchange.
- Julian Dale: Double bass/cello. He is a former winner of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival's Young Composers Competition. He teamed up with the original BF-Collective for the Murmuration album. His career spans a number of key 'jazz' and rock ensembles and has played with important jazz pianists such as Tim Richards and Keith Tippett. He currently has his own solo projects as a singer and conducts as well as composes for string and symphony orchestras. Dale's 'straight' compositions have been broadcast on
Radio 3, his bass playing featured on BBC Radio 1,2,3,4,6 & BBC
TV 1, 2 & Channel 4.
- Anton Henley: Drums/percussion. Anton Henley is the only other member of Blazing Flame Quintet to have been present on Steve Day's debut album for Leo Records, Visitors. Unlike the rest of the band his musical background is mostly, though not exclusively, related to rock music. Important, because he often offers a central pulse to proceedings from which he can divert at will. His knowledge of drums and all forms of percussion is extensive. He is also a professional quality bookbinder, photographer and graphic artist.
Blazing Flame (2015 line-up) Anton Henley, Steve Day, Keith Tippett, Julie Tippetts, Aaron Standon, Peter Evans, Fiona Harvey
The above line-up is featured in the short films below. In 2016 Julian Dale replaced Fiona Harvey in the line-up and recorded the album Murmuration.
Blazing Flame - Blow
Blazing Flame - Nemesis For Nina (Parts 1 & 2)
Blazing Flame - The Mona Lisa
Blazing Flame - Stone Circle
Blazing Flame - Ghost Writer
Film soundtrack: recorded & mixed at J & J Studios by Jim Barr. Filming & editing by Steve Gear & Nick Sutton at Calling The Shots.
The line-up below recorded Blazing Flame Play High Mountain Top, Leo Records CD LR 687.
Flame (2013 line-up) Steve Day, Julie Tippetts, Bill Bartlett, Keith Tippett, Dave Perry, Aaron
Standon, Peter Evans, Fiona Harvey, Anton Henley
REVIEW: Jazz Views, December 2013, Nick Lea
This is an
ambitious project from Blazing Flame, and would we really expect anything
less from the prolific and consistently enterprising Leo Records, that
startles and delights in equal measures.
Play High Mountain Top takes the words/lyrics of Steve Day, and sets them to
music from the Blazing Flame
collective. Whilst it is therefore obvious that the words are
a predetermined factor it remains less apparent how much of the music may
have some written parts or pre-arranged cues, or be wholly improvised, and
too much of an analytical approach would only serve to dilute the impact
of this unique aggregation.
It is always something special when husband and
wife, Keith Tippett and Julie Tippetts perform together, and this is no
exception. In this instance, their respective roles rely less on the
interaction between the couple, but more how Julie responds to the tenor
voice of Steve Day and similarly how Tippett manages to blend the acoustic
piano with the electric counterpart played by Bill Bartlett. In this
respect the pairing is entirely satisfying with the tonalities of the two
keyboards producing a pleasing sound and with the pianists staying out of
each other's way, thus avoiding any possible clashes. In fact, Keith's
playing is an inspiration throughout, whether working in partnership with
Bartlett or heard adding his accompaniment and commentary to the ensemble.
The depth of his playing is no more clearly felt than on the exceptional
'There Was A Spark In The Heart Of Joan Of Arc' in which he is heard with
just electric violin and voice, before being joined by other members of
This doubling up continues with the pairing of
saxophonists, Aaron Standon and Dave Perry with the sound of alto and
tenor bouncing lines off each
other in most satisfying dialogues, supporting each other and the
narrative of the words most ably. Perry in particular stands out for his
contributions on bass clarinet. The instrument has such an expressive
capability and an ability to bring an added depth to the contexts in
which it is deployed, as can be readily heard on the superb 'My English
State of Mind', and the closing 'Lament TV'.
In a well programmed set, 'Zoltan Shakes The
Dice' has a tumultuous rhythmic emphasis and shakes up everything and
everyone else in its all too
brief appearance, before Day and Tippetts bring this down to a more sedate
pace in their duologue on the title track.