Steve Garrett – Acoustic Guitar
Pete Lowit – Double Bass
This was an absorbing and intimate evening of two perfectly contrasted instruments and players. The tonal blending of guitar and bass was aided by the fact that the two were mainly equal partners, creating an improvised counterpoint, rather than merely melody and accompaniment. There was a lot to listen to here and the improvising was mature and always organically related to the composition and mood.
The choice of material ranged from jazz to folk to film music with a generous helping of Steve Garrett’s own compositions. These ranged from two tributes to Nick Drake, For Nick and You Called Me, to pieces by guitarists John Scofield, Heck of a Job, John Maclaughlin, Follow Your Heart, and Ralph Towner, Creeper. On the bass side we had Goodbye Pork Pie Hat by Charlie Mingus, Our Spanish Lovesong by Charlie Hayden, and Jade Visions by the short-lived but highly influential Scott LaFaro, which segued into The Mist Covered Mountains used in Local Hero. More film music included Love Scene from Spartacus by Alex North, gathered and redistributed from Bill Evans’s multi-tracked three piano version, and The Green Leaves of Summer by Dimitri Tiomkin, theme to The Alamo.
Steve’s compositions are very varied and included a Scottish style Deeside Waltz and a piece in the Phrygian Mode called Frigid World, reminiscent of Soft Machine.
Personally I found the evening an excellent musical meditation with much to delight the ear and mind. For those who missed it but would like to get a taste I can heartily recommend Steve’s website, http://www.stevegarrettguitar.com This has some fascinating information about his interest in Antarctica and corresponding musical essay, as well as recordings and videos of much of the material mentioned. I look forward to their next visit, this was was positively inspiring.