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Impossible Gentlemen, Colston Hall, June 16th

June 17, 2011

As expected, a brilliant gig. Pretty good crowd, too, which was a slight relief after recent jazz events at this venue. There has been a real buzz about this band, and it obviously got through. The reasons are well explained by early reviewers – Chris Parker, John Fordham, and Tony Benjamin. Consensus there, I think!

It would have been even better in Bristol if Colston 2 could deliver better sound. It was muddy, even allowing for the fact that Swallow’s feline suppleness on electric bass more often delivers a purr than a growl these days, and much of the piano detail was lost, especially in the first half – not really good enough these days, and reason to spend more time with the (tremendous) CD.

But a live show can deliver things a recording can’t. In this case, the particular pleasure of seeing people who play together superbly, but are still stimulating each other with surprises which come from not having played together all that much.

There are lots of reasons not to envy the life of musicians on the road, but surely enviable is the feeling when a band that you never expected to be in – in this case an Anglo-US quartet ranging in age from Simcock (30) to Swallow (71) – works so beautifully. As well as all the very good music, the lovely thing about this evening was enjoying seeing them all enjoying each other at work. Collective music making at its best.

p.s. Mike Collins liked it too (natch)…   and reaches for the same adjective for the Colston Hall sound.

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