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Geoff Gascoyne

Thursday 11th March - 8pm

Geoff Gascoyne Project - Review
By Trudie Squires

THIS was ex-Nottingham bass player Geoff Gascoyne's latest project, after six years working with and arranging for singer/pianist Jamie Cullum. He has maximised his formidable arranging talents to convert a diverse selection of pop music from the last 30 or so years and re-arrange them for a jazz quartet, producing a refreshingly different sound from an alto-sax and guitar front line. His group was made up of four incredibly talented musicians. Graham Blevins from Perth, Australia, played a crisp, vibrant alto-sax and also doubled on soprano. He was supported by guitarist Jim Mullen, who was once again in devastating form following his Bonington appearance with Stan Sulzmann last month. Gascoyne's wizardry on both double bass and bass guitar was an absolute joy; his performance on double bass was highlighted by his tremendous skill and strength playing in the instrument's higher register. Dutchman Sebastiaan de Krom was the consummate drummer; his output ranging from whispering brushes to whacking, drumstick fracturing off-beat rim-shots. The music ranged from Rufus Wainwright's Going To A Town, introducing Blevins' passionate alto, fired by a relentless rhythm. Peter Gabriel's 1980s hit Don't Give Up was notable for Mullen's unquenchable thirst for chorus after chorus of exhilarating improvisations. The Happening, by Diana Ross and The Supremes, was again relished by the magnificent Mullen, who again stole the show on The Stylistics' People Make The World Go Round. Geoff asked for requests to show off his prowess on a mass of electronic gear connected to his bass guitar; Willow Weep For Me was suggested and Geoff worked out a repeating bass line and played over it with a great solo effort. Keep It To Yourself was a divergence from the pop scene - a composition by Gascoyne played around a familiar 16-bar jazz chord sequence and featured Blevins' warm, wrap around sound on alto. Earth, Wind and Fire's Star was a flag-waver taken at a fast tempo, with amazing stop chords in a tight arrangement and a feature for de Krom's superb drumming.

Tickets Available from:

BONINGTON THEATRE - High Street, Arnold ( 0115 956 0733 )

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