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Monday, February 13, 2012

Wilbur’s Fate @ The Bridge Hotel. February 12.


Matthew T. Forster (ten/bs.clt); Jordie Cooke (gtr); John Pope (bs); Dave McKeague (dms).
A select audience welcomed the return of Wilbur’s Fate to the regular Sunday Splinter sessions. Tune-smiths Jordi Cooke (guitar) and Matthew Forster (tenor sax/bass clarinet) were in the company of regular bassist John Pope and depping drummer Dave McKeague. 
The set opened with Cooke’s Animation of a Puppet, an early song writing effort from the amiable Cumbrian guitarist. It was given a good work-out by this developing quartet. A Matt Forster tune – All Bets Are Off – signalled a modern jazz feel which drummer McKeague handled with ease. Pope’s double bass was temporarily out of commission so this meant we were in for a night of electric bass Jaco/Stanley Clarke style. Bass and drums got into a funk groove of which the Jazz Crusaders would have been proud. Cooke’s guitar sound is his own with hints of McLaughlin, Scofield and Metheny to name but three. The modern jazz sound of Absolute Destination closed the first set. 
A visit to the bar, a chat with drummer McKeague (another graduate of the BMus course at Newcastle College) and it was time for the second set. Forster evoked the spirit of Tim Garland as the band got Lost at Sea. Grinning Mouths with a Metheny vibe and Hoping for Déjà Vu (a Forster composition) with its fractured rhythms illustrated the degree to which this band has developed as an improvising quartet. The Happy Song featured McKeague and Visitors (comp.Cooke) revealed Forster as a potent tenor player in the mould of Gary Turner (Extreme Measures). A good gig from one of the bright hopes of the north east scene.
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Russell   

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