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Born This Day
Louis Armstrong and Steve Andrews.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Claude Werner Quartet - Splinter @ The Bridge

Claude Werner (ten), Mark Williams (gtr), Laurence Blackadder (bs), David Carnegie (dms). This is what it's all about! Quite a night – arguably the best yet music-wise and indisputably the best yet crowd-wise in the Sunday night Splinter @ The Bridge Sessions. So crowded was it that some tables had to be removed to allow more chairs to be placed. In fairness it must be said that the audience was augmented by a contingent of maybe 20 from the Västra Götalands Ungdomssymfoniker – a Swedish youth orchestra who, earlier, had given a concert at The Sage – nevertheless, it all added to the ambiance and the Scandanavians certainly enjoyed it going by their response and the ensuing CD sales. The Swedish contingent made it a truly international affair as, on stage, we had a Chilean saxophonist, an Irish guitarist, a Barbadian drummer and a Cumbrian bass player. Roll over Esperanto – Music is the universal language. In a band of such quality it is impossible to single out one supreme moment – there were just too many. However, when Laurence played his soulful bass introduction to Daydreaming the whole room knew they were in for something special. Laurence has a sound on bass that is all his own. It's pizzicato with a legato feel to it if that makes sense. On guitar, Mark, who I suspect is one of identical triplets so many gigs does he enhance, once again showed why he is in such demand whilst David displayed yet another side to his fine technique – humour - in a burst of exchanges with Claude that brought roars of approval. This really was phenomenal as they came in swinging, trading phrase, counterphrase and paraphrase - two fighters slinging punches and going for it in the last round of a title bout. Claude encompasses the whole gamut of modern tenor playing from early Coltrane to 'Sheets of Sound Trane' with a bit of Rollins thrown in to the mix - not to mention his own highly individual approach. He also dabbled sparingly with an effects board which produced some interesting delays and reverbs and other electronic alchemy. The keyword here is 'sparingly'. All of the pieces were originals by Claude and many are on his CD Thoughts and Recollections which I'm pleased to say appeared to be selling well tonight.
Another superb evening at the Bridge Hotel. In March it's: 7th. ACV, 14th. Alter Ego, 21st. Safe Sextet and 28th. Splinter roll on...
Photos of this and previous gigs. Lance.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Yes, it was an excellent night - judging by the photos I was sitting almost right behind you. Really fine playing from everyone - I don't believe that you could have heard better anywhere else in the world.

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