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Bebop Spoken There

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Busnoys @ The Bridge Hotel. Sunday 18 March

Martin Pyne (vibes & electronics), Jeff Spencer (bass) & Trevor Davies (drums)

Jazz North East’s latest promotion at the Bridge Hotel featured a chamber jazz concert by Busnoys. The trio, lead by vibes player Martin Pyne, crafted two sets of considered pastoral sketches. Waltzing on the Devil’s Ground and Song for Grace Melbury (a tune inspired by Thomas Hardy’s Wessex) set the tone. Mild-mannered Pyne utilised a vast collection of mallets - two mallets, then four - to create a water-colour wash of sound, drummer Trevor Davies etched chiaroscuro to the compositions and five string bassist Jeff Spencer was the epitome of taste. Pyne announced ‘an ordinary little jazz tune’- it was anything but ordinary; a blues - Over and Over - swung like crazy, drum ‘n’ bass patterns intervened and featured solos from Pyne and Spencer with a round of fours to showcase the talents of Davies. A Don Cherry-inspired piece - Oom?...Pah!-– invited a receptive audience to imagine the trumpeter playing Stravinsky! Military-medium drum rolls then, slight of hand, jazz punk humour and late-period Miles bass lines. The trio’s new CD By Tapering Torchlight was snapped-up at the door and the title track opened the second set. For Ed paid homage to Pyne’s favourite musician - Ed Blackwell – and the percussive feel couldn’t have been more apposite. Stillness at Appomatox, an elegy to the American civil war, distilled the essence of Busnoys; sensitive, quiet, still.

Russell

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