Scarborough Jazz

Reviews

The Firebird Quartet (17th February, 2016)

ImageIn their second appearance at The Cask, The Firebird Quartet showed much musical intelligence and a lot of appropriate fire. They played an interesting and varied repertoire with zest and skill and deserve national recognition.

Many London based bands have appeared at The Cask – with higher ticket prices – but few have played better jazz than this quartet.

Tim Carter's drumming is vigorous and inventive.  He provides a constantly shifting undercurrent that seems to inspire his colleagues to play their very best.

John Marley's double bass playing was richly satisfying throughout.  His choice of electric bass for some numbers was appropriate and effective.

The piano playing of Martin Longhawn was a constant delight.  His fingers seemed to glide over the keyboard regardless of tempo.  He has an endless stream of invention which can be elegant or complex, but always interesting.

In Chalk showed mastery of the trumpet, whether burnishing the melody of a ballad or passionately attacking a rocking, toe tapping number.

Many tunes began and ended with an engaging riff.  Changes to the group sound refreshed the ear.  Two numbers ended with a drum solo.  Extended endings, with the musicians inter-weaving after the final statement of the melody, were nicely achieved.

Nature Boy was played with a Cuban rhythm so infectious that it was a surprise that no-one danced!

The Seductress by Wynton Marsalis had a lifting, falling melody and Ian achieved a ravishing sound on this trumpet and piano duo.

Afro Blue was a funky head nodder with an excellent bass solo and a passionate one from Ian.

Wayne Shorter's Fe Fi Fo Fum was an out and out swinger that had invigorating four-bar exchanges involving everybody.

It is almost unfair to mention these numbers specially, as all sixteen tunes played by this excellent quartet were worthy of mention in an evening of flawless musicianship.

Dick Armstrong

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Posted on 23 Feb 2016 by admin
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