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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Robert Mitchell 3io - Schmazz @ The Cluny

Robert Mitchell (pno), Tom Mason (stick bass), Richard Spavin (dms).
Anyone who heard Robert Mitchell at Matana Roberts' recent Live Theatre gig didn't need reminding that Robert is a pianist of outstanding technique and creativity. This promised to be one of the most outstanding Schmazz @ The Cluny gigs for many a full moon and I'm pleased to say that it lived up to expectations. With Tom Mason on bass and Richard Spaven, drums, Britain really did have talent tonight at The Cluny.
Mitchell is possessed of possibly the most prodigious technique I've heard in any pianoman and he used it to the full without a parachute.
If you've ever watched the Tour de France and marvelled at the skill with which the riders handle the twisting Alpine descents - this was it in piano terms. At times it was almost like a Liszt Piano Concerto played in double time. His attack was so percussive that his hands were just a blur. If he ever gets sick of piano he'd make one helluva drummer!
Tom Mason on the strange instrument called a stick bass - I call it a 'Pogo' - had some nice touches although I can't see any advantage over a double bass or even a fretless. Still it's his choice so who am I to argue.
Spaven proved to be yet another fine young drummer who added his own voice to the trio, sorry '3io'. For once we had a gig without endless rounds of fours and obligatory bass solos - I'm pleased to say.
Great gig.
Lance.

2 comments :

Paul B said...

There's nothing really I can add to Lance's review - this was indeed a stupendous gig from a pianist who's still not getting the level of recognition he deserves (and why weren't any of our local pianistic whizzkids in the audience last night?).

Just a note, though, on Tom Mason's "stick bass", which I agree has no aural advantages over the conventional bull fiddle, and seemed to me to have less richness in bowed passages. But it does have an advantage in portability, and as the trio had travelled from London by train, it was a matter of convenience for Tom.

Lance said...

I suspected portability might come into the equation.
We did have one "pianistic whizzkid" in the audience in the form of Stu Collingwood - himself no mean performer. Stu was impressed as was drummer Malcolm Dick.

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