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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Harley's Street's Ahead

Dave Weisser (tpt/vcl), Barrie Ascroft (pno), Mick Danby (bs), Eric Stutt (dms) + HARLEY JOHNSON.
Harley kicked for home tonight with as good a trio set as I've heard since he first arrived at the Chilli earlier this year.
Ably aided and abetted by Eric and Mick, the 'precocious pianist', to quote Dave, laid down a benchmark that will be very difficult to follow in the years to come.
Tonight he cut the umbilical c(h)ord that tied him to Monk and, instead, dipped his toe into the Gasbook - in his own inimitable manner.
"You and the Night and the Music" opened the set with an explosive keyboard flourish that soon settled into a comfortable groove and the small, mainly attentive, audience knew it was in for a treat. "Some Day My Prince Will Come" ranged from moments of probing, ethereal, beauty to triple forté grandioso passages.
"Milestones", despite some confusion early on nevertheless came through in the end. "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" had the opening melody played on bass by Mick Danby making for an unusual version that worked. "Love For Sale" swung with an almost Peterson-like ferocity and the final "Blue Monk" was like no other "Blue Monk" I've ever heard. Harley knocked 7 shades out of a tune he knows backwards and at times plays backwards. This was Galaxy Grabbing!
The interplay with Eric was semi-telepathic and they gelled. Eric is a very underrated drummer and tonight everything fell into place.
Likewise Mick Danby - he did the business and did it good. Tonight was, and I use the term advisedly - a Milestone.
Earlier Eric and Mick along with Dave and Barrie played a sound opening set, Nice to hear Dave playing more open horn these days.
Good that Norman is back after surgery and congrats to Chris Finch on winning the raffle - pick up the CD next time.
Lance.

1 comment :

cptfinch said...

Really dissapointed that I had to leave early, missing Harley's set.
Winning the CD is a good consolation though :)

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