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Friday, July 13, 2018

Russ Morgan Quartet @The Jazz Café - July 12

Mark Williams (guitar); Paul Edis (piano); Andy Champion (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review and photo by Russell)
Russ Morgan revisiting charts he played when working in the south east...a tasty prospect! Relocating to the northeast drummer Morgan quickly established himself as a first call musician. This debut gig leading his own quartet came up trumps...as if it was ever in doubt!

Morgan made that 'first call' to Messrs Williams, Edis and Champion, they were up for it, the Jazz Café the obvious place to perform the material in front of an audience, and an audience there was.
The name Pat Metheny would crop up on more than one occasion during the evening, the first number being decidedly 'Methenyesque' and throw into the mix the name Pete Oxley (Russ Morgan worked with the Oxfordshire based guitarist) and one began to get a feel for the music. Julians Siegel (A Thousand Ships) and Nicholas (Loose Tubes) were two familiar names from Morgan's gig diary, Mr Metheny himself contributed Come and See to the set list, Oxley's The Jaunt (Morgan can be heard on the album Now!) featured guitarist Mark Williams tearing it up (one of several outstanding contributions during the evening) and one-time Tommy Chase tenor sax sideman Kevin Flanagan's The Whole Year hit the heights with stellar solos from Williams and pianist Paul Edis emerging from the in-the-pocket groove of bassist Andy Champion and bandleader Morgan. 

Metheny's Sea Song (the connections were all too apparent - the American superstar, Oxley, Morgan, Williams), then a superb medium tempo blues with its ferocious to swingtime to greater ferocity to ever greater swing sections, glorious, simply glorious! A final number from guitarist Ross Lardner (check him out), first hard groove, then swing, groove, swing, enough...it's July 12, make this Russ Morgan Quartet gig the market leader for the 'Gig of the Month' accolade!  
Russell.         
Two photos from Ken Drew.

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