5 March 2014
Someone joked that it looked like Dixieland but it was anything but. It sounded more like Ornette and the clarinet gave it a classical ambiance especially when playing with James' inventive harmonising. They all chose notes so well. I could hear bass ostinatos and even once or twice a walk, so there was tonal centre and chord changes, but the considerable freedom in harmonies and choice of intervals and counterpoint and the lack of a chordal instrument made for a freer sound. The charts appeared and times and the tunes joined in medleys, settling for a while for someone's solo then dissolving into more interplay in te front line and unresolved freedom until another tuned appeared. They seemed to have long written charts but with open space and room to escape the dots. for their individual statements. I'm writing this while I listen, and it's dissolving right now as I write, from a swing and walking bass and capable clarinet solo into an interlude of free then into trumpet and a marching drum and sparse bass on 1 with embellishments and already I'm feeling urgency as something grows into glissando bass and that solid march and Reuben steadily stating a melody increasingly clearly. Now counterpoint form 2 horns and soon delicious contrary motion from James. Nothing here is fast but it delights in melody and tunefullness despite none-too overt structure. Delicious is a great word. Two sets of 45 mins, mostly without a stop or chatter. Then just a final cover of Tomasz Stanko as an encore. Reuben Lewis (trumpet) led a quintet at the Gods with James Greening (trombone, trumpet), Jon Hunt (clarinet, bass clarinet), Mark Shepherd (bass) and Ronny Ferella (drums).