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Kirk Lightsey

Review by Trudie Squires

Kirk Lightsey Trio - Bonington Theatre, October 25, 2007

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Kirk Lightsey never ceases to amaze; here he was out on a gig denied at the last minute the services of his bass player (who was tending his desperately sick wife); a drummer who was more intent on showing off his highly structured kit; and a sax player, who, despite being a skilled musician, was not really part of Lightsey's plans. But the music flowed from this piano legend, richly inventive with an endless stream of ideas, immaculate phrasing and unquenchable good humour. Though the first set started a bit late due to saxophonist Lee Goodall's SatNav getting him lost in Arnold, the music went way over time on both sets, such is the enthusiasm of this fabulous Detroit piano man. The lack of a bass player affected Dave Wickins' drumming; usually a rhythm man devoted to swinging an outfit, he became rather obsessed by the extra trappings he had brought along, even down to a teapot, which he tapped on as he emptied it. Goodall played soprano and alto saxes and also flute. His alto was fresh sounding and he played some great solos. But the night belonged to Kirk, whether he be playing swinging standards, gorgeous ballads and captivating originals, passing seamlessly from one number to the next. Kirk summed it all up when he announced that the audience were privileged to be sitting in on a "live rehearsal." Not what we expected, but any appearance by Kirk Lightsey is not to be missed!

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