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Thursday, December 19, 2013

ACV @ Schmazz @ The Cluny. December 17

Andy Champion (double bass), Graeme Wilson (tenor & baritone saxophones), Mark Williams (guitar), Paul Edis (keyboards) & Adrian Tilbrook (drums)
(Review by Russell/Photo by Ken Drew)
Regular readers of this blog will know only to well that any gig by ACV will receive a five star review. It would be easy to write See previous review(s). Brevity would appear to be the watchword of one reader, however a few more words surely wouldn’t go amiss. Andy Champion’s quintet played a blinder, not withstanding some difficulties with the sound and of particular interest on this occasion was the introduction of some new material.
Graeme Wilson’s cv includes many credits as composer for various projects. ACV is one of them and Sturdy is his latest offering. The Scot’s hallmark for this ensemble is the remarkable unison lines for tenor or baritone saxophone and Mark Williams guitar. This new tune further developed the symbiotic relationship between the two. Bandleader Andy Champion unveiled Dog Leap Stairs (imagine running up a steep flight of stone steps – one hundred or more – to make last orders at the Bridge Hotel) and it too featured Wilson (baritone) and Williams.
Drummer Adrian Tilbrook is seen and heard less often these days. He must have been in the woodshed because he sounded better than ever. Tilbrook and Champion powered the outfit with authority and keyboards man Paul Edis evidently enjoyed being let of the leash in this band summoning an array of sounds – the sounds of Giant Mice – and if nothing else the gig offered him some relief from panto duties!
Mark Williams, the man from Northern Ireland, contributed his first tune to the ACV pad with Switch (the title decided a matter of hours before the gig). On this first hearing there will be more to come. Old favourites were heard – Dust Red, Fail in Wood, She Said It Ugly, Second Season – from the CDs Fail in Wood and Busk and a third CD will see the light of day in the not too distant future.
Schmazz, resident at the Cluny since 1999, is moving on. In 2014 look out for Schmazz gigs – last Tuesday in the month – at the recently refurbished Jazz Café on Pink Lane. This last ever gig down in the Ouseburn was a great way to go out and ACV tore it up – with a seasonal quote or two – on Without Bones.   
Russell.

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