The Gaz Hughes Trio Unveils 'Nuclear Bebopalypse'

A Swing and Bop Odyssey from three rising stars of British Jazz

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Last Show: Tuesday 20 th February 2024

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

Gaz Hughes is a renowned jazz drummer and band leader, who first gained wide public attention as the original drummer in the Matthew Halsall Band. He has played a significant role in the early recordings of the Gondwana label and has been a highlight on the album "On The Go", which won the Best Jazz Album of the Year at the Gilles Peterson Worldwide Awards in 2012, and was nominated for the Best Jazz Album MOBO Awards in 2011.


Ginger Baker

Get ready for a musical journey like no other as The Gaz Hughes Trio unveils their latest opus, "Nuclear Bebopalypse," Riding high on the success of their 2023 UK tour, the trio showcases eight original compositions, the album pays homage to jazz legends, blending heritage with a modern twist for a captivating soundscape that strikes the perfect balance between tradition and innovation. 

Having maintained a demanding tour itinerary, the ensemble has dedicated the majority of the year to both performances and the creation of new music. The contents of this album distinctly demonstrate the on-going evolution of the band. Each of the eight tunes draws their influence from the history the music, yet at no point do they ever sound derivative. There are echoes of pianists Horace Silver and Bud Powell with a touch of Ellington too, but these are no more than reference points as the compositions all stand on their own merits.

The opening “The Message” is straight out of the Blue Note sound. A great melody that hunkers down with bass and drums to provide a solid platform for Andrzej Baranek’s improvisation, while another of Hughes’s tunes “Shootin’ from the Hip!” has a wonderful bass line over which the pianist Baranek lays down a funky solo.

The title track, in two parts, has a wonderfully schizophrenic feel with Part 1 written by Baranek, with its quick tempo and scampering piano lines and Part 2 by Hughes with its lean and muscular theme and driving swing.

A touch of Ellingtonia creeps in on “Disinformation” by new bassist Gavin Barras who joined the trio just prior to the recording in a wonderful tune that features Barras playing both arco and pizzicato. The bassist has quickly slotted into the trio, and the empathy between the three musicians leads to some exciting interplay.

Building on the success of "Beboperation" and "Beboptical Illusion," "Nuclear Bebopalypse" stands as a testament to The Gaz Hughes Trio's commitment to create new music and continue to develop their identity in the boundaries of Swing and Bop.

In a short space of time, Gaz Hughes has established himself a one of the premier jazz drummers in the UK. With three acclaimed albums under his belt, Hughes has built quite a reputation with audiences around the country, not just for his drumming but also for his engaging personality both behind and in front of the kit. Positioned at the vanguard of the new wave of British jazz talent, the Gaz Hughes Trio are a group to take note of for 2024.

Band Line Up

Gaz Hughes (drums)

Andrzej Baranek (piano)

Gavin Barras (double bass)