@ the 606 Club & the Pizza Express Jazz Club
1 February 2007, 15 November 2008 & 5 February 2009
Click an image to enlarge.
In 1979, Toussaint played with hard bop trumpeter
Wallace Roney and in 1982 he set off for New York to join Art Blakey’s
Toussaint also worked with Wynton Marsalis, McCoy
Tyner and Gil Evans, and regularly led the jam session at New York’s
Blue Note club.
Touring extensively with the Messengers, he always
looked forward to London where he made friends amongst some of the
capital’s young jazz musicians. He explains:
“In those early days I met Cleveland
and Trevor Watkiss, Steve Williamson, Courtney Pine and Julian Joseph.”
In 1987, after leaving the Messengers, Toussaint
accepted an invitation from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama
to teach improvisation for three months. Toussaint decided to stay
in the UK, and now works extensively in Europe and the US with his
own bands, The Jean Toussaint Quartet (straight-ahead, acoustic
jazz) and Nazaire (funky, dancey, electric jazz).
In the last few years, he has toured Europe with
Max Roach, joined Cedar Walton for a fortnight at Ronnie Scott's,
and worked with the likes of Horace Silver, Troy Miller, Cleveland
and Trevor Watkiss, Julian Joseph, Bheki Mseleku, Jason Rebello
and Tony Remy to name a few.
In 1997, with a commission from the Arts Council,
he toured the UK with old friends Mulgrew Miller, Terence Blanchard
and Reginald Veal.
Toussaint has appeared regularly on television
arts programmes including BBC2’s The Late Show, 01 for London,
and Channel 4’s Jazz Heroes series.
As well as part-time teaching jazz theory and improvisation
at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Toussaint is a regular
tutor on the Northern Ireland Arts Council-run summer school, and
at the Guildhall Summer School. He also leads workshops at arts
centres, schools and colleges in conjunction with concerts.
Jean Toussaint - saxophone
Troy Miller - drums
Andrew McCormack - piano
Larry Bartley - bass