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Barry Green duo, National Theatre foyer, March 30

April 5, 2010

In London looking to unwind after long day’s work: check out billing for National Theatre foyer music billing – Barry Green duo. Hm. He’s good. Might be worth crossing the river for.

Minimal effort (well, it was raining across the Embankment footbridge) amply rewarded, as the secret other half of the duo turned out to be Bobby Wellins. And they play together very well indeed. No matter that Wellins, in his mid-70s, ought to be a world star rather than playing free gigs for passing theatre goers. This was about the music, and both were digging in happily, listening intently as they explored standards together. The (much) younger man’s piano playing is an excellent foil for Wellins’ lovely, billowing sound, and caressing way with a ballad. They really ought to record, and tour, together but I suspect neither will happen. It is just one of those occasional pairings which charms people for a few gigs like this, then the players go their separate ways, each enriched by the experience.

Lots of jazz players come out of college in London these days. But this is surely how they get their old style jazz education. That’s not to say Green needs it – he is a fully formed player, and impressive in his own right. But the combination with Wellins is special, and looks to be based on the firm foundation of mutual appreciation and pleasure in making music together. How it should be, and quietly inspiring in its way. And they finished with Blue Monk. Perfect. The rain after seemed to matter less.

One Comment leave one →
  1. jazzyblogman permalink
    April 11, 2010 9:29 pm

    I’ve seen Barry and Bobby play at this same spot and had similar thoughts – they make great music together

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