Mark Armstrong Quintet
Event 3
Saturday 8th October, 8.00pm 
Little Missenden Church

Lyrical improvisation, propulsive swing

This is an archived event from the 2016 Programme.

Mark first appeared at the Festival with Clark Tracey’s Quintet, then with Stan Tracey. Now his own quintet features alumni from both these groups: Clark Tracey on drums and Andy Cleyndert on bass (Stan Tracey’s collaborators of choice for his trio); pianist Tom Cawley, who came to Little Missenden with his own group, Curios; and Simon Allen on saxophones – he and Mark were previously the horns of Clark’s Quintet. 

They’ll play original material in a modern swing style and some choice standards from the jazz canon – their music is characterised by lyrical, energetic improvisation and propulsive swing. They have that instinctive rapport which comes from having played together in so many different settings. 

Mark is one of our leading jazz trumpeters – “A glorious burnished tone and a relaxed intensity” (Richard Williams), “Pirouetting through Gillespie’s breaks quicker than a hummingbird’s wings” (Alyn Shipton).  He’s a composer and arranger, Jazz Professor at the Royal College of Music and Artistic Director of NYJO. 

Simon Allen’s a superb reedman – Chris Parker highlights his “ebullience and searing articulateness” and Sholto Byrnes his “luminous, floating tone on alto sax”.

Tom Cawley has been playing with the country’s best jazz artists for over ten years – “A shining light for British jazz” (Musician), “Never less than spellbinding” (Independent)

Clark Tracey learned his trade with his illustrious father Stan: 

“An apprenticeship in the top flight has forged Clark into one of the most impressive jazz drummers in Britain today” (Richard Williams, Times)

Andy Cleyndert, one of the busiest bassists, has played with many top jazzmen on both sides of the Atlantic, and has his own record label, Trio.