I had to get up very early Saturday morning to pick my wife up from Heathrow, so I was unable to stay for the second set of this marvelous gig.. I will chronicle the gig as best I can.
The gig was led by the indomitable Mark Fletcher on the drums. We got to see the wonderful young trumpeter, Freddie Gavita in a different guise from the gig he gave us with his own band. Laurence Cottle is a supreme bassist, this gig, on the 6 string bass guitar. Ross Stanley arrived with a keyboard, not the advertised organ, but there is nothing artificial about Ross: the keyboard was an original Fender Rhodes.
As I missed the second set, I would like to talk a little about the sound check. Samuel, his friend Matt and I rigged, and Samuel ran the show, excellent sound for the gig. Ross arrived very late, so there was no testing of his levels until the first song of the gig. So the early arriving trio rehearsed a bit. Laurence and Freddie had a “play this tune” contest (I think Laurence won, but what do I know?), Mark joined in, showering hits on both of them indiscriminately. It was a riot to watch.
I wish I had caught the name and composer of the first tune. It was way up-tempo, and featured a fiery solo by Mark, not the last. It was certainly not a tune rehearsed in the sound-check, but the four of them were tight as a … I need another cliché here. No clichés in the music. Ross comes up with wonderful chords and ideas, whether soloing or accompanying.
The group can be tender. Mal Waldron’s “Soul Eyes” had Freddie using the Harmon, perfect for this lovely ballad, beautifully played. The improvised intro was just Freddie leading, Ross accompanying, You could see and feel them listening.
The set ended with Freddie’s “Turnabout”, in which Laurence had a solo that used every bit of the instrument, with out in any way being cute or tricky.
So too short a write up of a great gig. They will be back, and it will be all new and just as much fun.
We have to wait two weeks for the stunning singer, Georgia Mancio, to grace our stage with song, story, three languages, scat and whistle. Her vocals are supported by Kate Williams piano, Steve Watts bass and Dave Ohm drums. “an object lesson in subtlety … in the impact of nuance … It’s beautiful” – All About Jazz *****
You can get a £4 discount on all gigs for a year if you become a Friend of Fleece Jazz. See Peter on the megastore.