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Monday, November 18, 2013

London Jazz Festival: Gareth Lockrane Big Band @ Spice of Life. November 17.

Gareth Lockrane (flutes); Nigel Hitchcock, Sam Mayne, Graeme Blevins, Nadim Teimoori, Richard Shepherd (saxes); Steve Fishwick, Henry Collins,Tom Walsh, Nick Smart(trumpets); Nichol Thomson,Tom Green, Callum Au, Barry Clements (trombones); Ross Stanley (piano); Ryan Trebilcock (bass) Matt Skelton (drums); Jez Wiles (percussion); Mike Outram (guitar).
(Review by Lance).
The Spice was rapidly filling up and the only seat I could get was about a metre from the band. I thanked my lucky stars the trombones weren't at the front otherwise I'd have had a slide up my nose! Mind you, such was the calibre of the trombones I would have worn the slide with pride!
As the sound wafted over me it was as if I was playing third tenor. Not that they needed a third tenor, Blevins and Teimoori took care of that business alright! Likewise Mayne and Hitchcock sizzled on alto with Shepherd's baritone also punching above his weight.
This was a band!
Leader Lockrane, as always, demonstrated that there are few jazz flautists in the world who can match him. On C concert flute, alto flute and bass flute he excelled both solowise and adding rich textures to the reed section who also had a few able flautists amongst their number.
Nick Smart and Steve Fishwick took most of the trumpet solos - Smart a new name to me but one to watch.
Ross Stanley was magnificent as was the whole rhythm section including the guitarist whose name escapes me..
Didn't get the names of the trombone soloists either but they kept up the standard set by this outfit. I'd liked to have said "Hello" to Callum Au having reviewed a CD by his own band earlier this year but hadn't realised he was in the section!
Next time.
Big Bands may no longer roam the earth but they haven't become extinct either - not whilst this outfit is around!
Lance

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