Blazing Flame Quintet is: Steve Day, Peter Evans, Anton Henley, Julian Dale & Mark Langford.  They use jazz improvisation in interpreting the songs/text of Steve Day. The band grew out of the original Blazing Flame featuring Keith & Julie Tippett.                     

 


 Blazing Flame Quintet

                 

 

 

Blazing 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 Blazing 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. 

 



 

 

 

Blazing 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 the ensemble.

 

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.