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Man who brought jazz to Pink Floyd

PUBLISHED: 12:56 06 August 2010 | UPDATED: 15:11 24 August 2010

There s so much jazz going on in Britain but not much in NW2 according to Ian Ritchie, saxophonist, composer and career musician, writes Alex de Moller. Ritchie is best known for his work with Pink Floyd s Roger Waters, who he followed on a two-year, 119

There's so much jazz going on in Britain but not much in NW2 according to Ian Ritchie, saxophonist, composer and career musician, writes Alex de Moller.

Ritchie is best known for his work with Pink Floyd's Roger Waters, who he followed on a two-year, 119 date tour of the band's 1973 classic 'Dark Side of the Moon' in 2006-2008 as a saxophone player.

He's produced Water's solo records, including Kaos Radio and also composed the theme tune for TV travel show Globe Trekker.

Now he's taken up residence at the Crown Hotel in Willesden.

Ritchie will bring jazz musicians from all corners of the globe together on Monday nights for the next three months, where his Ian Ritchie Jazz quartet will groove to the sounds of contemporary Jazz and re-vamped classics.

"It's a mixture of well known jazz tunes and some original ones," says Ian.

"I've got pianist Danny Keane, who plays with the Gorillaz and Tom Braxton, Alex Hutton, Oded Kafri, an amazing Israeli drummer who's played with Billie Cobham and Tom Fry. We're webcasting the gigs and we've had people watching all over the world."

Contemporary jazz?

Don't let the name scare you.

Imagine the virtuosity of the 1930s with all of its piano tinkering and add the influence of modern music.

It's a fusion of modern rhythms that began in the 60s and 70s, one that plays up to the sound of R&B, hip-hop, pop, rock and funk.

It can feature any instrument from the traditional saxophone, double bass and piano to the synthesiser.

"In my case the music is very melodic," he says.

"It has solos from various people in the group and we use lots of different rhythms. We've been playing here for three weeks now and it's building up. We're not in the hundreds yet but people are dancing!"

Ritchie's quartet are set to feature cabaret singer Holly Penfield along with an extensive circle of guest musicians and an atmosphere you won't find anywhere else in Brent.

If you can't get enough of all that jazz then check out Ian Ritchie's SoHo Project, his permanent band, which is set to release an album titled 'South of Houston' this year.

In case you were wondering, that's Houston Street not Houston Texas, and hints at the beginning of New York jazz in an area 'South of Houston', more commonly known as SoHo.

The Ian Ritchie Jazz Quartet performs on Monday nights starting at 8.30pm at the Crown Hotel, Cricklewood Broadway.

Free entry for over 18s.

Call 020 8452 4175.


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