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Review of the Simon Spillett Trio
4:30pm Monday 18th March 2013 in News
The much-lauded saxophonist and jazz authority, Simon Spillett, brought his tenor sax to the Prince on a cold March night to an audience of jazz fans and socialising diners and drinkers.
In a programme sensibly tailored for this setup, the theme was ‘standards’, with a sprinkling of ballads and refreshing tempo changes.
Three J Van Heuson compositions, two by Jerome Kern and a Cole Porter number framed the course of the evening, but the attacking be-bop style generally associated with this axe man was never far away.
Simon Spillett has had a long and productive musical relationship with pianist John Critchinson, a stalwart trio member. ‘Critch’ is a fount of musical knowledge with stories of the early be-bop days, from his West Country roots to Ronnie Scott’s. His enthusiasm and musical talent is undiminished.
One might consider that the trio’s drummer, Terry Howard – a newcomer to Simon – would be disadvantaged in the understanding built between keyboard and sax, but local man Terry is an experienced jazzman in his own right and provided attentive and sympathetic backing throughout.
So an evening of fine music. Perhaps the most memorable number of the session, however, was The Gentle Rai' as a gentle bossa nova from the pen of the admirable Luiz Bonfa.
A satisfied audience, and I think the musicians, too, enjoyed their trip to the sticks. – Keith Brain