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Tim Garland Lighthouse Project – St George’s Feb 15

January 16, 2009

An intriguing outfit, and very enjoyable. Have to review it for Jazzwise, so I’ll save most thoughts about the music for that and post it on publication – probably in March.

Meantime, I should record that it was an excellent evening, as this bit of the same trio suggests

There was a good crowd, too. I often think Bristol needs a good jazz venue somewhere between the Be-bop club (capacity what, around 50?) and St George’s, ten times larger. But if St G’s can draw audiences like this – around two thirds capacity I’d guess but looks fuller because you don’t really notice if the side bits and gallery are thinly populated – then never mind. Hope the next one in the series – Julian Arguelles at the end of the month – gets as good a turnout.

Oh, and can I (should I) compare Stapleton and Gwilym Simcock? I probably shouldn’t, but the similarities in age and stage do invite it. I like both, but Simcock sounds like, I don’t know, he’s played more, with more people. More to draw on. My companion, as restaurant reviewers say, felt likewise. Which may just be another way of saying we’ve already seen him play with Lee Konitz (who actually called him “wunderkind” and I don’t think was being ironic) and K. Wheeler. I thought at first he was rhythmically a bit stiffer, more dead on the beat, than this trio needed, but that impression was largely dispelled by the end. He ain’t Danilo Perez, for sure, but he interacted fruitfully with the ace percussionist who impels this little ensemble.

Only problem with St George’s on a Thursday is that it makes turning out for the Bear the night after less likely…  Oh well, you can’t hear everything, dammit.

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