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Monday, November 18, 2013

London Jazz Festival: David Sanborn/Bob James - Zoe Rahman Quartet @ The Barbican November 16.

Bob James (pno); David Sanborn (alt); Scott Colley (bs); Steve Gadd (dms).
(Review by Lance).
The applause was tumultuous from the packed auditorium even before the quartet had played a note! This crowd knew the form and clearly felt they'd backed a winner!
And they had! From the opening reflective chords from James you could feel the tension building up to the entrance of Sanborn and the rhythm section. Tension and Resolution was Peter Ind's formula and it worked here too. This was an absolute dream session. The Crowd knew its stuff and the familiar themes were given deserved recognition. All four went for the jugular. Sanborn I'd seen and heard before but Bob James had passed by my radar - not any more, not whilst wearing those shoes! Two tone with what appeared to be red lights attached. We're so out of touch up here!
Shoes or no shoes James provided the perfect antidote to Sanborns histrionic flights. Particularly impressive were James' Brubeckian inspired compositions. Lady sitting next to me said "I'm going to get that CD".
In the the previous set by the Zoe Rahman Quartet I thought Bart Calderazzo  had nailed the drum honours until I heard Steve Gadd! He is something else again and I say that without taking anything away from Bart.
Zoe Rahman (pno); Idris Rahman (clt); Alec Dankworth (bs); Bart Calderazzo (dms)
A relatively short set building up to the head-liners. Ironically, Zoe and her cohorts could have easily been the top billers - perhaps they spun a coin. Whatever, it was a good set with Zoe displaying the technique and presence that never fails to endear her to audiences north, south and in-between. She's always exciting to hear and not bad to look at either! Many of the numbers were from her Kindred Spirit  album reviewed here last year. I particularly love the Irish flavoured number that has Idris  blowing jazz ceilidh! Bart I've mentioned but, what a day for bass players today has been.
Peter Ind, Andy Champion, Scott Colley and Alec Dankworth - only Ray Brown and Charles Mingus couldn't make it owing to higher commitments!
Lance.

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