23rd June 2022

Brian Keddie – Trombone

Matthew Kilner – Tenor Sax

Jon Hall – Piano

Pete Lowit – Double Bass

Nigel Mackenzie – Drums

This was a great night led by two fine musicians in front of an appreciative audience. The improvising was of a fine calibre and the combination of tenor sax and trombone was very pleasing to the ear. Starting out with Sam River’s “Beatrice” the mood was set for spaciousness and expansiveness. The band worked well together, listening and responding to changing moods and exchanging phrases around the players. Nigel Mackenzie showed once again what a subtle drummer he is, in tandem with Pete Lowit’s sensitive bass playing.

From the piano stool this was an ideal set up, two very accomplished front line players supported by a trio that always works well together. Favourite jazz vehicles such as “Out of Nowhere”, “Softly as a Morning Sunrise” and “If I Should Lose You” were contrasted with a sprinkling of Latin numbers, especially Tom Harrell’s “Moon Alley” which closed the first set, its self contained arrangement skilfully blending the instruments with interesting rhythmic ideas.

The second half opened with a duo, a trombone and piano ballad “Nobody Else but Me”, giving Brian full scope to musically search out the possibilities of both tune and trombone. That was followed by a quartet featuring Matthew Kilner on “If I Should Lose You”, taken at a fair lick and producing some inventive lines with, at times, some thrilling upper register, Trane-like phrases.

Other numbers included “Tune Up”, “Star Eyes”, “You Don’t Know What Love Is” and “On the Sunny Side of the Street”, all given a fresh coat of musical gloss by a well matched and satisfying quintet. Personally I was left wanting more, which is always a good way to end a gig.

Jon Hall

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