INSIDE STRAIGHT celebrates the music of Cannonball Adderley, featuring compositions by Joe Zawinul, Nat Adderley, and of course Cannonball himself. Led by award winning alto saxophonist Tony Kofi, the band explores exciting repertoire from the late 1960s / early 1970s which helped to push the boundaries of jazz music at the time and pave the way for the oncoming jazz funk revolution.
TONY KOFI-alto sax, DENNIS ROLLINS MBE-trombone, HUGH PASCALL-trumpet, MATT RATCLIFFE-keyboards, MARTYN SPENCER-bass, ANDREW 'WOODY' WOOD-drums.
A British Jazz multi-instrumentalist born of Ghanaian parents Tony 'cut his teeth' in the "Jazz Warriors" of the early 90's. He’s gone on to establish himself as a musician, teacher and composer of real authority. As well as performing and recording with Gary Crosby's "Nu-Troop" and "Jazz Jamaica", Tony's playing has also been a feature of many bands and artists he has worked/recorded with include US-3, The World Saxophone Quartet, Courtney Pine, Donald Byrd, Eddie Henderson, Abdullah Ibrahim, Macy Gray, Julian Joseph, Harry Connick JR, and Ornette Coleman.
Tony formed Inside Straight in response to a Derby Jazz Commission to create a band of East Midlands musicians to play a series of outdoor gigs in the summer of 2021. Matt Ratcliffe, Martyn Spencer and Anthony ’Woody’ Wood have been in the band from the start, with Matt’s Moog and synths vital to the band’s vibe. In 2022 the band was joined by two more East Midland stars in Dennis Rollins MBE and Hugh Pascall. In November 2022 the band played The EFG London Jazz Festival to great acclaim.
A passionate performer and educator Dennis Rollins MBE has established a reputation as an artist of excellence and has lent his unique and stylish talents to some of this country's, and indeed the world's top jazz and pop personalities such as Courtney Pine, Maceo Parker, Jamiroquai, US3, The Brand New Heavies, Blur, Monty Alexander, Pee Wee Ellis and Jean Toussaint, amongst others.
Hugh Pascall studied jazz at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music with Gerard Presencer. Winner of the Academy’s 2005 Scott Philbrick Jazz Prize, he was one of the first Sir Elton John Scholarship holders and also studied at the Paris Conservatoire. His eclectic career has included performances and recordings with a huge variety of artists including pianist Hans Koller, Tony Kofi and Dennis Rollins and a variety of projects; Birmingham Jazz Orchestra, E17 Large Ensemble, the Dave Ferris Septet and New York’s The Last Poets.