5th May 2022

Colin Henderson – Baritone, Alto Saxes and Flute

Jon Hall – Piano and Vocals

Neil Sharkey – Bass Guitar

Mike Sharkey – Drums

It’s maybe unusual for a band member to be writing reviews of his own gigs, but that’s how it is and all I can do is be honest and tell it like it was. As far as I’m concerned this band gets better week by week. Having the Sharkey brothers in the rhythm section has transformed the music and opened up many new avenues. These guys respond creatively to whatever is going on and the rest of us are in turn inspired to give it our all and to explore new exciting possibilities. The sense of time is very strong now and space appears when it is needed. The music sounds good with the sparest of details and the dynamics build from soft and understated to loud (but not excessively) and full, in direct response to what each soloist is doing.

Of course this is just how it is meant to be, but it still seems special when it’s actually happening right in front of you. Tonight we had a lot of fun with the Latin style numbers, bossa novas, etc. They seemed to bring out some delicious drum timbres, impeccable bass lines, and washes of electric piano underpinning the tonal subtleties of alto sax or flute.

We also swung in a variety of different styles and moods from Basie’s Jive by Five to Hancock’s Dolphin Dance and Monk’s Ba Lu Bolivar Blues to Flanagan’s Eclypso. Vocals included Nature Boy, I Ain’t Got Nothing But the Blues and Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me. Tonight’s finale was a hearty and fulsome rendition of Blue Monk, with everyone sitting back and confidently building to a fitting climax. A really good time was had by all and that includes the beaming audience who have not only got bigger but seem to be staying up later. Long may it last.

Jon Hall

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