This Sunday evening found us somewhere in the lost land between Modern, Progressive, Free and Avant Garde jazz, however the exponents of this music were in no way lost with Elliott’s forthright control of his tenor sax leading the way.
This is music that requires a high standard of musicianship and mastery of the instrument, and we received a totally quality performance by all players in the group – Elliott Dalgleish, Damien Sim on piano, Jeremy O’Connor – bass, Chris Vale – drums, Yuseke Akai – guitar and special guest Jack Saunders – trumpet.
Although piano legend Paul Grabowsky had been advertised to appear as part of the group, Elliott read out a message he had received saying that Paul would be unable to appear due to a family bereavement. It was most fortunate that Damien Sim was available to take on this challenge, treating us to a fine performance.
The program was built around John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter’s music and we heard a mix of strident sax and trumpet through to some beautifully harmonious interchanges between Damien and Jeremy. Each individual in the group produced some memorable solo work – even a drum solo – as untypical a drum solo as you are likely to hear, but it in the hands of Chris it worked, and worked well. Some amazingly big sounds emanated from Jack’s pocket trumpet and it was easy to see how much Yuseke was enjoying his part in this group both in his ensemble and solo guitar playing.
This is not music for the masses, with a small audience to prove the point, but above all, this is what the BJC is all about – presenting the best and broadest spectrum of jazz around in a great setting.
Congratulations to Elliott for his constant inventiveness in presenting absolute jazz, eschewing popular jazz forms in favour of the more artistic and reverent approach to the greats of this genre.