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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Simon Spillett Quartet @ The Oval Tavern, Croydon.

Simon Spillett (ten/sop); Ted Beamont (pno); Tim Wells (bs); Trevor Tompkins (dms).
(Review by Lance).
Simon Spillett never fails to impress. With a technique that outstrips most of his contemporaries (with each hearing he seems to add an extra hundred notes per phrase!) And yet, these aren't mere hip arpeggios but meaningful usage of the tools at his command. He is a walking, living, Jazz Courier with Tubby's technique and Ronnie's laconic sense of humour.
The 73 bus, the train and the walk to the oak beamed pub was well worth the effort. I don't know if the beams are genuine but the music certainly is. And if the beams are genuine oak then, because of the low ceiling, they ran risk of being somewhat singed as the notes flew upwards with the ferocity of a Xmas fireworks display.
The tenorman was in good company. Ted Beamont matched Spillett's excitement with some explosive solos of his own that exploited the chordal possibilities of the keyboard building up to incredible climaxes, Trevor Tompkins was described by Spillett as one of the finest drummers in this room today - and far beyond he may well have added. Tim Wells was at the heart of things soloing superbly throughout and holding it all together.
When he's not intent on going for world records Spillett can also display a romantic side to his playing e.g. sensitive readings of I Thought About You, Here's That Rainy Day, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square and Someday My Prince Will Come - this latter tune on soprano. The first time I'd heard him on soprano and the first time I'd saw him sporting a beard. I wonder if the two are connected?
Simon Spillett is, he tells me, doing a JNE gig next month. One to look forward to. More details when JNE release the information.
Photos.
Lance.
Possibly more photos to follow...

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