Percy Pursglove (Sep 5), John Parricelli (Sep 12), Future Inns

Catch-up posts on trains seem to be order of the day here, so…

Future Inns visits resumed after Summer travels with Percy Pursglove group on Sunday 5th Sep. A fluent trumpet player, backed by electric piano on “Hammond” setting, which is fun for a while, bass and Sebastian de Krom on drums. He mostly played standards – introduced as “some of my favourite tunes”. That would convey more if he took a moment to explain why they were favourites, otherwise they seem a bit arbitrary and, well, standard. A competent evening, but it all seemed a tad characterless and not much stays in the memory a couple of weeks later.

Much better, unsurprisingly, was guitarist for all occasions John Parricelli’s appearance, to a packed house, on Sunday 12th. It was packed partly because long-time associate Andy Sheppard came along in place of an indisposed regular sax player, and they clearly enjoyed reversing leader and sideman roles for once. The result was a very assertive Sheppard, doing less of the feathery rumination which some take as his trademark – especially on record – and throwing off energetic solos throughout. He really is a world class player, and so is the guitarist, their first set closer sounding uncannily like the old John Scofield quartet with Joe Lovano (the excellent Nic France also reminiscent of Bill Stewart on the drums).

That was just one highlight in a whole evening of highlights, others including a new vaguely township-like tune of Parricelli’s and some of his older pieces, as well as a couple of Andy’s compositions in the second set. He seemed to revel in the forceful drumming, other recent doses of his playing having been either with tabla or with a rather restrained Billy Drummond in Carla Bley’s quartet at Cheltehnam. He does good work in all settings (the duo CD from five years ago with Parricelli is a fine set) but this was a particularly good night – and topped off with a brief, burning contribution from James Morton on Milestones for the encore. All this and Kit Downes’ trio this Sunday: the Future Inns Club is on a roll.

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