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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Ravi Coltrane Quartet @ Sage Gateshead - July 15

Ravi Coltrane (ten/sop/sopranino); Adam Rodgers (gtr); Scott Colley (bs); Nate Smith (dms).
(Review by Lance/Photos courtesy of HarrisonAPhotography.)
The quartet hadn't had a good day. Flight cancellations and lost luggage meant them arriving from mainland Europe with barely time to eat let alone perform which, I suppose, puts the failure of my Quaylink bus to turn up at Gateshead Interchange into perspective.
These trials and tribulations didn't show. Coltrane greeted the near three tier full Hall Two audience with, "Aa ye aal reet?" - Clearly a multi-linguist.
His first language, however, is undoubtedly jazz. Having heard his dad at Newcastle City Hall some 50 years ago - that concert wasn't one of My Favourite Things - I feared the sins of the father may be replicated perhaps even multiplied! I couldn't have been further from the truth! This was contemporary, make no mistake about it, but it was also very accessible. No pet shop owners were dialling 999!
The pieces were extended, allowing the soloists to stretch out. Rodgers didn't need an assortment of pedals and effects to make his point - just an amp and a pick. Colley was pure theatre on bass, striking poses as he played and as adept with the bow as he was with the fingers. On drums, Smith was an absolute powerhouse. Thundering like ten Elvin Joneses, then moving into a soft, subtle mallet mode.
Ravi? Superb! Tenor, soprano and the rarely heard sopranino sax. The fast boppy number that closed the first set was played on the latter, the second smallest of the saxophone family (the smallest is the sopranissimo which is so small you need powerful lenses to see it and only dogs can hear it), I would guess that every saxophone player in the audience will now have sopranino sax on his Christmas list!
The material consisted of compositions by Ornette Coleman, Billy Strayhorn (Lush Life), Charlie Haden (a gorgeous version of First Song - a piece the late bassist wrote for his wife) plus originals by Coltrane [Ravi], Rodgers and Colley.
The standing ovation delivered at the end was the very least they deserved. If it had been left to me they'd have been given the Freedom of the Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead.
More photos.
Lance.

1 comment :

David Keighley (on F/b) said...

STELLAR gig, They were awesome

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