Took a bit of a rest from live gigs in the run up to the Cheltenham Jazz Festival next weekend, but there is a very enticing offering at St George’s on the Thursday before the trip up the M5.
Edition records founder Dave Stapleton has new compositions for double quartet – a conventional jazz foursome and a string quartet. The former has the composer on piano, Dave Kane on bass, Olavi Louhivori on drums and – icing in the cake – saxophone man of the moment Marius Neset. The string parts are in the hands of the Brodowski String Quartet.
The resulting CD, Flight, is deeply impressive. The elements blend perfectly and the strings, so often wasted in this kind of thing, really enhance the sound of these pieces. It is a fabulous piece of writing, and all the performers rise to it brilliantly. There is plenty of the intensity which helped Neset make such an impression at his UK gigs last year, but also big helpings of a lyricism not so much in evidence then. The whole thing is a very rewarding listen, and I suspect personnel schedules and octet costs mean it won’t be heard live too many times. So great to see that one of the three gigs they are playing this week is in Bristol, at a venue where the acoustic should allow full appreciation of the unusual instrumentation. Expectation: high.
gig details here
a nice review of the album here
and listen to samples here