08 February 2013

Being there

Mike Nock’s Quintet, his trio with two friends, was an interesting gig. Right from the top it felt like comfortable old times. The lines and melodies and grooves were old family: jazz rock, Miles, Herbie and the like. I could hear the same piano accompaniment. I could feel the mildly mutating rhythm section as it settled behind the front line with a choppy ocean busy-ness. The chords flowed by slowly, perhaps 4 bars to one chord, regularly changing and gently paced, leaving the soloist plenty of time to feel the changes. These were post-hippy times, still gentle and emotionally committed. This feels good to my ears. I think of Buster Williams and some favourite albums. Nick Garbett’s new to the band, smiling, enjoying the outing and playing wonderfully structured solos, a cry, a pause, a volley of falling notes. Miles again, space and notes that crawl against the backing. Karl fills the space more, but does a similar take with falling lines although somewhat more blues infected. Mike is adventurous, taking an idea and extending it over long ranges, or stopping and finding some unexpected and obtuse take on the chords before reimagining lines into contrary scalar movements. There was a blues starting with a bass solo that could have started a Mingus tune and leading into a slow, deep Southern langour. Here, Karl’s solos are all bends and blues and Nick’s are wakeup calls of sudden high staccato and some florid, some languid fills. Then TBA, a bouncy contemporary feel with concurrent solos from the horns and clavinet from Mike. Somewhere, James had taken a solo against a piano/bass phrase. This was all punchy with neat rudiment-induced divisions of the beat and triplets that delay the feel and rolls tat explode into cymbals. Explosive for a jazz solo; Nick smiled some more. The second set started with the band settling into a D minor bass groove and settling into a slow funk for the solos. Slow news day was more story telling, with a floating intro and pensive melody: portraying a lazy news room or perhaps some personal relief at a benign nightly news. Not surprisingly, the first solo was from bass then sax, the softer horn. Last tune of the night was Colours, long with feverish walks and rabid collective improv and slips into free jazz. Nice gig. Mike Nock (piano) led a quintet with Nick Garbett (trumpet), Karl Laskowski (tenor), Brett Hirst (bass) and James Waples (drums).

  • Cyberhalides Jazz Photos by Brian Stewart
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