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Tim Richards trio – Future Inns, March 27th

April 3, 2011

Writing nearly a week after the event here – as updating the music journal seems to fit on Sunday nights these days. A trio session that slipped down very easily and enjoyably. Richards  plays in a way that, for me, projects good humour, as if he enjoys his work. This is the opposite of jazz as agonised soul-baring, and none the worse for that. Bass and drums – Dominic Howles and Jeff Lardner respectively – show why this is known as the rhythm section. That wasn’t all they contributed, but Richards’ arrangements favour repeated bass figures that set up a groove, and they made them swing like anything.

The programme was part standards from Richards’ new CD, with some originals. Nice touches throughout. I particularly liked a version of Love For Sale accented as if it had been written by Horace Silver. The absence of a horn puts the spotlight on the piano, and Richards shines – not in the continually surprising way that John Law did at the Be-bop club the previous week, but in the way of someone who understands the deep jazz tradition from long immersion and finds plenty of mileage in it yet. Straightahead is the word, I suppose, and there were a few drum solos too many (technically impressive but kinda repetitive). But a pretty nice evening to just enjoy in between the burning intensities of Angela Hewitt (see below) and Joe Lovano (see above).

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