John Law & Dave Gordon present 'Sacre'

Music from and inspired by Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring

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Last Show: Saturday 24 th March 2018

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

Two of the UK’s foremost pianist/composers, working in both areas jazz and classical, combine to present their personal take on the classic masterpiece of early 20th century music: The Rite of Spring (Le Sacre du Printemps). Since its premiere in 1913 - a concert in Paris which sparked a riot - Stravinsky’s ballet has consistently fascinated musicians and public alike. Known for its jarring, dissonant, sometimes bi-tonal harmonies, rhythmic vitality and stabbing chords, John Law and David Gordon naturally saw in these elements plenty of jazz potential! In this new project they will be playing, in the first set, five movements from the work, in Stravinsky’s own two piano transcription, plus four original jazz compositions inspired by four of the movements. And as a closing piece they’ll be performing the exciting first movement from Stravinsky’s suite Petrushka. The second half will be more of a jazz set, with original pieces by John and David and works by others, exploring catchy, rhythmic, latin pieces. 

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John Law, a prize-winning classical prodigy on piano, turned away from classical piano studies to pursue jazz and improvised music when he was 23 and has since then received international recognition for a dazzlingly wide variety of contemporary jazz projects: from solo piano concerts and albums through trio and quartet tours and recordings, right through to large scale works for his semi-classical ensemble Cornucopia.  He has played at over fifty festivals worldwide and recorded forty albums, working with musicians as diverse as Gwilym Simcock, Andy Sheppard, Jason Rebello, Tim Garland, Iain Ballamy and Evan Parker. John’s main projects currently are his acclaimed contemporary jazz and electronics quartet Congregation featuring Mercury Prize nominee James Mainwaring, which has toured in Europe and India, appearing to stunning audience reception in concert halls, clubs and at festivals such as the North Sea Jazz Festival (Rotterdam) or the Queen Elizabeth Hall (London Jazz Festival), solo piano concerts,Re-Creations – a quartet featuring Parliamentary Jazz Award winner Sam Crockatt, playing new arrangements of jazz and pop tunes -  and Goldberg, his recreation, with added visuals, of Bach’s original work.

"...combining the vocabularies of jazz and classical in a singular and seamless way, coalescing improvisational surprise and a deep elegiac musicality..." All About Jazz 2011

" full of joy that it can renew your faith not just in jazz, but music itself." Phil Johnson, Independent on Sunday 2011

“An interesting and highly gifted maverick musician”Alfred Brendel“One of this country’s most imaginative young pianists” The Times 

“When he records for ECM he'll become a star” Jazzthethik, Germany

“You wonder if there is actually anything that this pianist cannot do.”Jazz Podium Germany 1997


Harpsichordist, jazz pianist and composer David Gordon trained as a mathematician at Bristol University before turning to music full-time, and he has since toured all over the world with: the gypsy-tango band Zum, the baroque orchestra The English Concert, the piano-led jazz group David Gordon Trio and the early music/jazz group Respectable Groove, and also violinists Nigel Kennedy and Andrew Manze and singer Jacqui Dankworth.  A self-taught jazz player, he appears on countless CDs as composer, leader and sideman; many of his works have been broadcast worldwide, and he has compositions regularly commissioned by festivals, publishers and fellow musicians. Recent activities include the writing of a concerto for recorder and strings, entitled 'Romanesque', premiered at the 2015 Ryedale Festival, and the release of the David Gordon Trio's latest CD, Alexander Scriabin's Ragtime Band.  Plans include a jazz setting of some the psalms for Jacqui Dankworth, to take place in abbeys and cathedrals around the country. A regular visitor to the Swaledale Festival, David has premiered a number of commissions here, including music for the 2009 Festival community play Semmerwater, which won a coveted Ability Media International Award. 

''Tremendous musical skill at the service of powerful emotions'' London Jazz News

'‘David Gordon is a musician of dazzling extravagantly resourceful pianist.'’ Mojo