October 2019 Allison Neale and Nat Steele
For their first visit to the Foottappers we are delighted to invite Allison Neale and Nat Steele to perform with the trio.
American born altoist Allison Neale’s beautifully crafted lines evoke the spirit of Paul Desmond and Art Pepper with whom she has a particular affinity. As a strong advocate of the melodic West Coast style she has performed alongside leading international artists such as Adelaide Hall and Bud Shank and more recently tenorist Scott Hamilton as well as featuring in both the John Dankworth ‘Generations‘ Band and the “Back to Basie’ Orchestra. She frequently tours the UK with her current Quartet, which also features acclaimed jazz pianist Leon Greening, bassist Julian Bury and drummer Steve Brown and has two CDs to her name ‘Melody Express’ with guitarist Dave Cliff and ‘Blue Concept’ with trumpeter Gary Kavanagh , both on 33 Records. Her latest CD " I Wished on the Moon " is on the Trio Records label and features the quartet as well as Milt Jackson influenced vibraphonist Nat Steele.
Nat Steele is a jazz vibraphone player based in London. Since his arrival on the scene 10 years ago, he has gained a reputation as a formidable player on the vibraphone, described by Clark Tracey as "one of the best vibes players this country has ever produced." Principally self-taught, Nat is strongly influenced in his technique and stylistic approach by Milt Jackson, although his influences also include other musicians such as Charlie Parker, Sonny Stitt and Victor Feldman, among others.
He's regularly featured as a performer at Ronnie Scott's and as a result he has attracted compliments for his playing from the likes of Benny Green, Joe Locke, Jason Marsalis, Harold Mabern and Eric Alexander, has studied with Mike LeDonne and had the good fortune to sit in with both Benny Green and Wynton Marsalis. In September 2017 he launched his debut album, “Portrait of the Modern Jazz Quartet” on Trio Records at Ronnie Scott’s. The album received rave reviews in the jazz press, and the subsequent UK launch tour lead to a live performance of the classic Prestige album "Sonny Rollins and the MJQ" with NYC saxophonist Grant Stewart at the 2018 London Jazz Festival, which was reviewed in Forbes Magazine as "easily one of top gigs of [the LJF]."
He’s travelled around the UK playing with his group, and alongside high-profile UK players such as Steve Fishwick, Alex Garnett, Sara Dowling, Steve Brown, Allison Neale and others. In 2015 he co-founded his own jazz festival with saxophonist Allison Neale, BopFest, as a way to feature more straight ahead jazz and bebop programming alongside the official London Jazz Festival. BopFest has subsequently grown into a large and successful annual festival in its own right, featuring artists from all over the UK, Europe and the USA.