Symphony Hall Foyer Bar, Birmingham UK
We get so accustomed to the piano, double or electric bass and kit drums rhythm section, and I love it as much as the next jazz fan, but isn’t it a pleasure just occasionally to have a break from it? Such was the feeling yesterday evening.
Sam Glasson, sitting on a Cuban cajon (the seat that is a also a drum), tapped out the beat on his bongos and foot-pedalled percussion block, while Dave Holdsworth played snaking and pumping bass lines on the tuba. Jason Henson added the appropriate guitar fills, and trombonist Mark Bassey and Charlotte on tenor blew the melodies.
Charlotte also played flute, melodica, saw and percussion during the hour and a half, though she might also have played violin when I wasn’t looking. And Dave Holdsworth switched from the giant tuba to the tiny pocket trumpet for a couple of tunes.
It was all orginal stuff, but what a range! There was Cuban music, Argentinian tango, South African kwela and Jamaican ska. Oh, and Charlotte managed to squeeze some Charlie Parker in in the middle of the title track of the band’s latest album, Charlotte’s Worldwide Web.
A lovely band playing lovely music with warmth and a sense of carnival about it – any rumours that the age of good-time jazz were behind us have been thoroughly quashed. The ska-inflected When You’re Feeling Down deserves to become a Rush Hour Blues theme tune for all time. Written by a man named Jolly it had exactly that effect.
Categories: Live review