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Marius Neset, Colston Hall, Sep 4 (and a gig of the week)

September 8, 2011

I know the Neset gig was special because bits of the performance are still making me smile as I recall them. The extended duet between tenor and drums in the second set evoked the biggest smile at the time – a real jazz moment, with two improvisers feeding off each other, Neset building from a kind of R&B riff, the whole thing building to a fine intensity, teetering on the brink of incoherence but never tumbling down. Great stuff. And, along with the many comparisons others have made (Brecker, Potter, Garbarek-when-young) it also put me in mind of Joshua Redman when he was a young virtuoso fond of grandstanding on live shows. Neset is, if anything, more impressive than Redman was at that stage of his career, so heaven knows where he’ll be by 40…

Everyone loves this tour, and reviews abound here (Tony Benjamin in Bristol), here (Fordham in London) and here (The Jazz Breakfast in Coventry). The FT and the Evening Standard pitched in, too. Sounds like the band are pretty consistent, night for night. Only complaint was that I’d love to have heard more from Jasper (my hero) Hoiby’s bass, but he’s back in town soon, so never mind.

Plenty of good stuff in town this week – Venue’s website listings are covering local gigs, and musicians well at the moment so go there to choose. But Emily Wright’s band (AKA Moonlight Saving Time) at the Corrie Tap on Sunday is strongly recommended. We may not go as it is just a bit soon to hear them again, but their Brecon show last month was superb.

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