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Monday, October 27, 2014

Samadhi @ The Bridge Hotel. October 26

Krzysztof Urbanski (tenor & soprano saxophones), Dominic J Marshall (keyboards), Nick Jurd (double bass), Sam Gardner (drums) & Sam Bell (percussion)
(Review by Russell/photo courtesy of Ken Drew).
London-based Sam Gardner (the man has relocated from the Leeds Hothouse to the easy-to-crack jazz scene in the Smoke!) made a welcome return to Splinter @ The Bridge with Samadhi, his youthful quintet. Remarkably, Dominic J Marshall (keyboards, baseball cap and prodigious talent) and bassist Nick Jurd (the look of a lower sixth former, the twenty-something trans-Atlantic tour veteran), recent BMus graduates both, have tour itineraries stretching into 2015 and beyond.
Samadhi is Gardner’s personal project seeking to play without ego (Buddhist philosophy a current preoccupation). So, what to make of his compositions? The Doctrine of Mutual Independence, an expansive piece, opened the set with Krzysztof Urbanski on soprano as Marshall developed the first of several solos; harmonically complex, fluent ideas, devoid of  the current vogue for tedious, repetitive motifs. Subutai heard Urbanski touching base with Coltrane and the post-Coltrane Wayne Shorter. The third and closing number of the first set – Deminos  - featured more invigorating piano as reeds sat out (Urbanski sat and listened, no detached indifference).
The second set offered more of the same with one marked difference - Gardner presented several numbers without comment, without pause. The percussion axis (Gardner and Sam Bell) constructed patterns based upon Eastern philosophical thought (numbers, no.5 as an example, are of interest to the bandleader) with Gardner indicating cues (the boys weren’t in need of such instruction as they were on top of matters!) and smiling contentedly.
Russell.

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