Thursday 7th February 8pm
Tickets - £12.00
£10 concs/£5 students/children
Eddie Henderson (trumpet) Paul Booth (saxophones) Rob Townsend (sax/woodwind/electronics) Tim Lapthorn (piano) Arnie Somogyi (bass) Dave Smith (drums)
Another welcome early return for Ambulance after their storming Bonington performance last summer. Eddie Henderson made his name working with Herbie Hancock's Mwandishi band in the early 70s, and has also worked with jazz legends Art Blakey, Joe Henderson, Dexter Gordon, Jackie McLean, Pharoah Sanders and many others. Now a legend in his own right, he joins up and coming youngsters, Booth, Lapthorn, Townsend and Smith, led by the ever youthful Arnie Somogyi, presenting an evening of musical 'accident and insurgency', which is also the title of their new CD.
Accident & Insurgency Reviews
07 December 2007
Vortex Jazz Website
"Conceived and developed (courtesy of an Arts Council residency at Snape Maltings) in the musical seaside haven of Aldeburgh, this rich and varied album perfectly reflects the versatility and musicianly prowess of the quintet that one of the UK's most accomplished bassists, Arnie Somogyi, has assembled; it also features the elegant trumpet and flugelhorn playing of a stellar US guest, Eddie Henderson.
The band's material and more importantly, their ease and familiarity with it has clearly profited from their Suffolk sojourn, ranging uncontrivedly from pieces with discernible roots in group improvisation, through relatively straightahead swingers with just enough wrinkles in them to provide individual purchase, to compositions incorporating everything from seagull noises and the sound of the sea to footsteps through shingle. It also includes the odd affecting ballad, most memorably pianist Tim Lapthorn's Tumbledown, named for the descending melody it contains.
All this variety is addressed with stylish aplomb, but considerable verve and imaginative pep, by the band's two saxophonists, Paul Booth and Rob Townsend, and with Somogyi (in tandem with the excellent drummer Dave Smith, who will be familiar to Vortex patrons from his work with the likes of Outhouse) providing his trademark muscular, pulsating drive throughout, this is a highly entertaining and thoroughly absorbing set, and a great calling card for their live act, already aired at last year's Cheltenham Festival, but also set to tour the UK in February 2008. Recommended."-----------------
Straight No Chaser review of Arnie Somogyi's Ambulance "Accident and Insurgency" (Linn AKD 306):
A cohesive fluid quintet from the seaside Suffolk town of Aldeburgh? Horn maestro 'Mganga' Eddie Henderson sitting in? Yes, I read right.
Linn new signings, Arnie Somogyi's Ambulance conjure eleven original compositions of such measure, mystique and eccentricity that it's incredibly hard not to keep rushing back for another dose.
And the collective responsibility is an important point. Although double bass man Arnie is the imposing bandleader who has played with anyone from Henderson, Art Farmer and Bobby Hutcherson to Richard Ashcroft, the liner notes stress the importance of 'sounding like a band' rather than a group of musicians playing one person's compositions. And the warmth of professional and personal understanding between some of the most promising yet accomplished jazz musicians in the UK radiates throughout.
It's also a blessing that the bulk of this recording was made mid-tour during one four-hour recording session. That's how you build a vibe.
'Walking Wounded' is a great opener, a swell from an irresistible bassline elevated by Dave Smith's splashes of cymbals and as Henderson coverts in the foreground. Elsewhere, spontaneous tracks like 'Captain Courageous' illustrate the real-life essence of the band drawing from the calm and fearless aura of Aldeburgh fisherman Kirk, on whom the composition is based.
'Solace' is just that, a think piece from pianist Tim Lapthorn beautifully lightened by the motifs of Paul Booth and Rob Townsend.
'Adrift' also evokes moods and scenes from their musical development residency at Snape Maltings; a gorgeous ballad to walk contentedly to. Contrast that to the urgency and 'insurgency' of the designated Ambulance theme tune 'Sirenity'!
The closer 'Broadside is perhaps the most intriguing (not least as it's a tribute to one of their favourite beers - powerful stuff). Building from another meditative Somogyi bassline over a 13/8 time signature, in come the blazing horns and a clever electronic loop of reconstructed 'sea drones' sequenced by Townsend. Henderson is free to prowl around and the resulting composition - with all its twists and turns - is compelling to say the least.
You're strongly urged to pick this up and then rush for 'A & I' and also catch one of their performances in England throughout February 2008. Jus don't expect any White coat gimmickry.