After hearing the Tom Green Septet's album Skyline earlier this year (it was in the shake-up for January's CD of the month) I knew there was no way I was going to miss this JNE/Schmazz gig at the Jazz Café.
I wasn't disappointed!
Too much to describe in detail but the arrangements and compositions were varied and imaginative in their successful amalgamation of mood in both ensembles and solos. Picture playing the CD in your bedroom at a volume that would have the neighbours banging on the wall - that's what it was like within the confines of "The Caff's" upper room except these neighbours weren't banging on the wall.
They were clapping their hands and shouting for more!
Particularly impressive were the polyphonic passages with the four horns improvising collectively sometimes with, sometimes without, the rhythm section.
Green produces a sound his illustrious namesake Urbie would have been proud of. Both sax players displayed great dexterity and Davison did the business on trumpet and (mainly) flugel.
We had to wait awhile before pianist James was given his head but patience was rewarded with a finger-busting solo that contained a suggestion of good old stride piano. Likewise Misha Mullov-Abbado on bass and Scott Chapman on drums. Throughout the evening they'd stoked the fire and driven the train but, cometh the hour, the bushel was removed and their talents unleashed in blinding fashion!
If Jason Isaacs was the vocal gig of the month this was surely the instrumental "Oscar" for February!