James Morton, Jazz at the Vaults, Bath

James Morton joined the regular trio at the Wine VauIts last Thursday and treated us to a display of impassioned blowing and improvising. I see this trio play quite a lot with the various visiting soloists (Vyv on piano, Wade on bass and Trevor on drums). James’ playing seemed to inspire them to find new depths and different angles on their playing.

So after  a progressively more angular and howling solo on Dizzy Gillespie’s Birk’s Works from James, Vyv produced an extraordinary solo, full of percussive chords and jagged runs. A lovely reading of Round Midnight established the band in a beautiful groove and a finale of Oleo saw everyone building the sound towards an almost unbearable climax. So no mere ‘standards gig’ this; yes the musicians met on familiar ground, but they were anything but tired or formulaic in their playing.

There’s no doubt about it – James is able to build a solo and drive a band on so that the energy in the room is palpable – I defy anyone not to be excited.

I just found a review by  charley http://www.charleyspace.co.uk/reviews.php?r=26 of a gig a while back in Bristol in which he captures the excitement really well.

Another great night in Bath’s little treasure of a Jazz club.


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