Silverado, Be-Bop Club, Bristol, 19th December

andy-hague-21 You might think that a Horace Silver tribute band could perhaps be limiting their scope musically. A few minutes in the company of Silverado is more than enough to dispel that idea. Now I thought I was a moderate jazz anorak, but one thing that surprised me about this gig was how unfamiliar most of the material was. I never knew Horace had written so many tunes.

So with a rich and varied reportoire (albeit exclusively by the good Mr. Silver), some wicked arrangements (whether originated by leader Andy Hague or transcribed I don’t know – either way its down to him) and a band of Bristol’s finest, one can only sit back and enjoy. For the record; Andy on trumpet and flugel, Jim Blomfield on piano, Kevin Figes, alto; Jake McMurchie (for the evening) on tenor; Simon Gore drums and Roshan “Tosh” Wijetunge on bass. As you might expect, lots of tight latin grooves, quite a few pacey swinging numbers, and some quite funky stuff. There were lots of stand outs for me, but one has to be the sheer joyous, melodic improvising of Jake McMurchie, the other was watching Andy pull chart after chart out for the band to play – he really does know how to assemble a great musical feast – check out his website for other projects

I was getting quite nostalgic. Its twenty years of the be-bop club in January and I realised I’d been visiting on and off for quite a bit of that time. When I first started going regularly in the early 90 s, I often used to see the owner of a now long defunct record shop there. On an almost weekly basis he would shake his head in disbelief and assert that you wouldn’t see better jazz anywhere in the world. “X (insert as appropriate) was as good as Sonny Rollins/ John Coltrane/… (insert or delete as appropriate)”. That’s a bit of a crazy claim, but sometimes I do shake my head in wonder at the quality of  the music we can see week by week locally. Fortunately on Friday, there were quite a few folk there who obviously thought so too – no micro gig this!


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