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A transatlantic guitar pairing to really savour.

Byline: Val Javin ,

They are two world- class jazz guitarists back in Huddersfield by popular request.

American Howard Alden teams up with Britain's award-winning jazz guitarist Dave Cliff at the Lawrence Batley Theatre on April 1.

The gig is being promoted by Huddersfield Jazz and offers a chance to hear an outstanding quartet which features this top guitar pairing plus the musical talents of Simon Woolf on bass and Steve Brown on drums.

Howard Alden was born in Newport Beach, California, in 1958. He began playing at the age of 10 inspired by recordings of Armstrong, Basie and Goodman, as well as guitarists Barney Kessel, Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt and George Van Eps.

He began working professionally around Los Angeles. In 1979, Alden went east, for a summer in Atlantic City with Red Norvo, and continued to appear with him on a regular basis for several years.

Three years later, Howard was in New York City where his skills as a soloist and accompanist were quickly recognised and sought-out for appearances and recordings with such artists as Joe Bushkin, Ruby Braff, Joe Williams, Warren Vache and Woody Herman.

Howard has recorded for Concord Jazz since the late 80s and at the urging of the company's president, Carl Jefferson, he recorded with one of his all-time heroes, seven-string guitar master George Van Eps on the album Thirteen Strings (CCD-4464).

The inspiration of Van Eps means Alden has been playing the seven-string guitar exclusively since 1992. Many felt it offered a greater range and harmonic richness to Alden's already colourful tonal palette.

Howard can be heard on the soundtrack to the 1999 Woody Allen movie Sweet and Low Down, starring Sean Penn. He played all the guitar solos and coached Sean Penn on playing the guitar for his role in the film.

Dave Cliff is a British guitarist with an impressive pedigree. He was born in Hexham, Northumberland in 1944 and began his career playing rhythm and blues in the Newcastle area.

In the late Sixties, Dave moved to Leeds and gained a diploma in jazz studies while studying with Peter Ind and Bernie Cash.

By the Seventies, Dave headed for London where he became established on the local scene before touring extensively with the Lee Konitz-Warne Marsh Quintet and touring the UK with Soprano Summit (Kenny Davern and Bob Wilber).

Dave has appeared at Ronnie Scotts jazz club in varied settings including Georgie Fame's Blue Flames, Mike Carr Trio, Irene Reid, Dick Pearce Sextet and the Bruce Admas Quartet.

His most recent recording was of a Scott Hamilton Sextet album last autumn on the Woodville label.

Together, Cliff and Alden offer the prospect of scintillating jazz.

The music starts in the LBT's Syngenta Cellar space at 8pm. Tickets on 01484 430538.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Mar 24, 2006
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