Thursday 25th February - 8pm
Robbie Robson (trumpet) Peter King (alto) Ross Stanley (piano) Mick Coady (bass) Steve Keogh (drums)
REVIEW by TRUDY SQUIRES:
A LARGE crowd waited patiently in the foyer while bass player Michael Coady conjured up a replacement drummer for Steve Keogh, stranded in Paris by a French airline strike. However, he managed to recruit the services of the excellent Tristan Maillott, who last appeared just three weeks back at the Bonington with Stan Sulzmann's "Sonny Side Up."
It was well worth the wait as this vibrant quartet was augmented by the appearance of veteran alto-saxophonist Peter King, which produced a superb blend of youth and experience to the proceedings. King's appearance had a positive effect on the group's performance; trumpeter Robbie Robson was outstanding playing with a pure tone and crackling attack on both trumpet and flugel. There are few alto-saxophonists on either side of the Atlantic who can match Peter King's technical ability and jazz perception. His beautifully tailored phrasing, effortless flow of ideas and bright, springy tone belied his advancing years. Pianist Ross Stanley was another extremely young musician with boundless skills. His busy, attacking style was full of surprises and breathtaking runs. Leader Coady was playing a very new and unamplified instrument. Nevertheless, his huge tone and immaculate, accurate technique powered the front-liners and he also showed formidable talents as a soloist. Replacement drummer Tristan Mailliott kept up a constant barrage from his chattering snare and steely top cymbal on the up-tempo numbers; while on ballads his whispering brushwork was a delight. The music was devoted to the hard-bop school and included compositions from Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and classics from the Jazz Messengers. Notable was King's role in some of the Messengers' numbers where he transposed the tenor line with his alto with great effect. Hancock's One Finger Snap was taken a breakneck tempo with a tirade of exciting choruses from King. Robson featured on a gorgeous version of You Leave Me Breathless, highlighting his pure tone and fine control. One of Robbie's own arrangements of Irving Berlin's The Best Thing For You Is Me, drew rapturous applause for Pete's outstanding alto solo and Robbie's note perfect contribution from his elegant, fluffy-toned flugel. Peter King's feature was the jazz classic Body And Soul - exceptional right from its intricate intro. Coady was featured in a trio setting in a totally joint effort on Too Close For Comfort - great performances all round on a surprising and satisfying arrangement. A great version of the classic hard-bop tune, Oleo - immortalised by Miles and Rollins - ended the show with Peter thrashing out classic phrases gleaned from the masters in his extended solo, which was followed by a ferocious contribution from Ronnie playing flugel. Ross Stanley's piano highlighted his melodic attributes in a nimble-fingered display of pyrotechnics. A great evening's jazz by five wonderful musicians.