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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Jazz Coop @ The Globe: Steve Glendinning Quartet: Sat Jan 10

Steve Glendinning (guitar); Chris Jelly (vibes); Mike Clarke (bass); Mark Robertson (drums)
(Review by Ann Alex)
The Jazz Coop gigs are definitely on the up if last night was anything to go by, both musically and in the size of the audiences.  Thirty two paying customers on a cold January night isn’t half bad, and a quartet playing jazz/fusion music, with the sound of the vibes to add something a bit unusual and interesting. In fact on seeing the bass player I thought for a moment that I was listening to French jazz  – Mike Clarke was bearded, bespectacled and wearing a black beret, looking every inch as if he should be playing on the left bank of the Seine.
As many readers will know, fusion was what happened to jazz in the 1960’s, when jazz gained influences from rock, pop and funk, with tunes from the likes of Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock added to the mix.  In fact Steve began with a beautiful guitar solo September 15th, as a tribute to the great Bill Evans, and also in remembrance of Keith Crombie of the original Jazz Cafe.  Then came les tout ensemble with Question and Answer, the sound of the vibes coming into its own, sweet, flowing, and precise.  The whole set was very accessible yet the music is complex and interesting, with solos well integrated.  Other tunes played were Imagination, not the song but an original composition from Steve and Chris; the wonderfully-named Saga Of Harrison Crabfeathers with solos from bass and guitar.  The first half was rounded off with Big Schlepp, which was a big tune with strong rocky guitar.
The longer 2nd half began with an original from Chris, a piece full of tuneful echoes on the vibes, ending with a whoooo from guitar. Chic Corea’s La Fiesta followed, then came a complete change with a serene G Minor Blues; then a ballad Hermitage; a tune called Red Clay; Emile Richards Yo Yaz; and another Steve and Chris original. Beautiful Love gave us some skilled light brushwork on the drums: the final tune was supposed to be the theme from Black Opheus, with lively Latin improvisation from Steve, but then an encore was demanded, which turned out to be a boppy version of Mr PC, which included solos all round and 4’s with the drums. 
Well done lads!   
Ann Alex

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