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Saturday, October 06, 2012

Trish Clowes’ Nonet @ The Sage. October 5

Trish Clowes (tenor saxophone), Gwilym Simcock (piano), Chris Montague (guitar), Calum Gourlay (double bass), James Maddren (drums) + Thomas Gould (violin), Thea Spiers (violin), Adam Robinson (viola) & Louise McMonagle (cello)
The Sage Gateshead’s Northern Rock Foundation Hall readily adapts itself to ‘jazz lounge’ format for events such as tenor saxophonist Trish Clowes’ ambitious project fusing jazz quintet and string quartet. Clowes, not yet thirty, has two CDs to her name, is an assured musician and composer with the added good fortune of being able to attract some of the very best musicians around. And in the Night-Time She is There is Clowes’ latest CD and she is currently on the road to promote it. On/Off, Seven and Atlas were played by the quintet (the strings appeared for the second set) with conviction. The leader’s tenor playing is unusual, if not remarkable; no big voice horn player - quiet is the word. This demanded the audience listen to every elliptical, sinuous nuance. Pianist Gwilym Simcock played sparingly but when he played he played! Drummer James Maddren relished every brush stroke, guitarist Chris Montague (local lad of Troyka fame) gave a sublime performance – Clowes’ suite Iris Nonet in three parts featured a guitar solo of immense beauty (one of those ‘I was there’ occasions) and the string quartet added an ‘out’ contemporary new music element. Clowes is a star in the making. Her new-found status as BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist will, no doubt, afford her time to develop other projects. The licence fee payer’s money is well spent.
Russell

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