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Bebop Spoken There

Chris Higginbottom: "For me, I'm always happiest after a day of practice and a good gig (remember those?)." - (Jazzwise July 2020)

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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Extreme Pleasures From Extreme Measures - Splinter @ The Bridge

Gary Turner (ten), Mark Williams (gtr), Stu Collingwood (keys), Stuart Davies (bs), David Carnegie (dms).
Another good turnout at the Bridge Hotel for Extreme Measures. As I pointed out in my previous post, in years to come you'll want to tell your grandchildren about this band. They are simply the best in their chosen genre - jazz/rock/funk.
Tonight saw the first appearance with the band of Stuart Collingwood who has taken over on piano, or 'keys', - to use the current buzz word - from Ben Gilbert.
Totally different stylistically from Ben, Stu and the band have gelled together well to bring a different dimension to the music. Stu has also added a couple of his own pieces to the library both of which were premiered tonight.
Out front, Gary and Mark sell excitement. Mark is well known on the scene - he pops up anywhere from the Cherry Tree to The Chilli and can adapt to any situation. Catch his trio at this venue in two weeks time in a Splinter/JNE co-promotion.
Gary Turner is less predictable rarely being seen with other bands. Unless I'm missing something I find this strange as he can blow modern with the best of them.
With EM they each tend to begin with laid-back, meandering, probing phrases that gently lull the listener into a false sense of security before, almost imperceptibly, building up to a wild guitar thrash or a Coltranic 'sheets of sound' tenor blast that has the heart pumping out a cardiacal rhythm faster than a David Carnegie drum solo which brings me to David Carnegie.
David is not just a powerhouse drummer, he can do subtle and often does, but it is as the driving force behind EM where he excels. Constantly urging the soloists forward he drives them to unbelievable heights before taking off on his own helter-skelter multi-rhythmic ride.
Last, and by no means least and dispelling my doubts about his availability, Stuart Davies provided the bass guitar anchor that keeps it all within the extremities of the measure.
If the Sunday nights continue at this level I guess the Bridge is here to stay.
PS: Next week the Zoe Gilby Quintet.

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