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Sam Crockatt Quartet

Thursday 5th November - 8pm
Bonington Theatre

Review - Sam Crockatt Quartet

By Trudie Squires

NO DAMP squibs at our bonfire night gig but an abundance of pyrotechnics from four extremely young and fiery players. Crockatt who led the group on tenor-sax and wrote most of the group's original compositions, was an uncluttered, powerful player, with a burnished, sinewy tone, which was suited to both his robust approach on up-tempo numbers and his ability to wrap himself around a ballad. His originals were ambitious, intricate and cleverly executed. Crockatt's right hand man was pianist Kit Downes - another awesome musician. His seamless improvisations were effortlessly delivered in flaming tirades of notes. The two-man rhythm team accompanied and soloed with equal skill; Oli Hayhurst's huge toned bass had a wonderful woody tone and Ben Reynolds was a constantly alert and perceptive drummer. Highlights were Crockatt's superb rendition of Ellington's In A Sentimental Mood, played as a ballad. Joedecaheadron was a tribute to saxophonist Joe Henderson, one of Crockatt's mentors and was played as a 12-bar blues; Crockatt's passionate contribution was answered by a totally absorbing effort from Downes. Front Rank Man Of The Middle Jazz was an original with a quirky theme; Crockatt twisting his way around some amazing chords. How Deep Is The Ocean produced relaxed performances from sax and piano and Kit Downes' piano shimmered beautifully on Ornette Colman's Blues Connotation.

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