15th September 2022

Andy Brown – Guitar

Jon Hall – Piano

Pete Lowit – Double Bass

Nigel MacKenzie – Drums

This was an outstanding gig, with four confident and experienced players who were listening and responding to each other and having a great time into the bargain! We played a well balanced set of tunes beginning with the Latin groove of Wes Montgomery’s “Cariba”. This set the stage for what was to come with solos from guitar, piano and bass, followed by driving exchanges between guitar and drums. Andy Brown was on excellent form and you could hear the influence of both Wes and Pat Martino in his use of rapid scales and revolving patterns. Andy has always been a prolific composer and it was a pleasure to hear a new piece of his, also with an infectious Latin groove, Sal Salamander”, which an enthusiastic audience agreed should henceforth be known as a “classic”! Two tunes by Thelonius Monk, “Straight No Chaser” and “ByeYa” paid homage to another original composer which, as always with Monk’s music, allowed the band to stretch out. “Syeeda’s Song Flute” from Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” featured Nigel MacKenzie on a superb drum solo that combined invention with musical taste. We also played “The Night Has a Thousand Eyes”, another tune associated with John Coltrane.

“Wait Till You See Her” was suggested by Andy after hearing it played in a George Shearing trio version, it’s waltz-time block chord arrangement being well suited to guitar and piano.

Other tunes included the bossa nova “Moon and Sand”, Miles Davis’ “Tune Up”, Michel Petrucciani’s “Lullaby” and “September Second”, and Keith Jarret’s “So Tender”. This was a very varied and extremely satisfying evening which was clearly enjoyed by all. I hope we can feature this combination again before too long.

Jon Hall

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