Mick Hutton, Be Bop Club Bristol, May 1st

I read a film review in the Guardian last week in which Pete Bradshaw was describing the pleasure of watching Genre films. He was saying that recognising the individuality and embellishments brought to a genre by a director or writer was a bigger part of the pleasure than the skill with which the familiar is executed. Iimage0021‘m not sure if i completely buy that, but I was thinking about it watching this fantastic band. If you passed by outside and didn’t play close attention, you might be forgiven for thinking they were merely a top notch contemporary band, playing swinging post bop-ish jazz. You would miss so much. To that broad territory, Mick Hutton’s writing and arranging, driven by his unhurried , propulsive bass brought glorious twists and turns to familiar material. You and the Night and the Music was introduced by a crazy tumbling, unison line before sharing the melody between bass and Andy Panyi’s tenor. Nostalgia in Time Square, played at a moderate tempo was unadorned but played wih a burning intensity. And a clutch of Mick’s tunes evoked quirky, off centre, deeply jazzy soloing from Barry Green on piano that often started with simple angular motifs and gathered in density and momentum. They could do tender as well, with a ballad dedicated to Mick Hutton’s grandad a standout. I loved this band.

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