This was my first visit to the Vaults since the summer break and I was keen to hear Jonny Bruce. I’ve seen him play previously with Dave Stapleton’s Quinet and he sat in with Ben Waghorn here a while back. He’s a fine, fluent player with plenty of imagination and has been getting some nice gigs so I’m not the only one to think so. This particular set made strangely little impression on me. Everyone played well. Vyv Hope-Scott is back in the piano chair for the house trio. He’s a more muscular swinging player than Andy Nowak so brings a different flavour to the band. You can count on fiery, blues inflected soloing when Vyv is in the house! I’m hoping to catch Vyv’s ‘European Jazz’ project The Balance at the BeBop Club on 6th November – it’ll show a different side to him. Tonight then, the standards reportoire and ‘scratch’ nature of the gig didn’t quite let anyone’s personality shine through but but it was good to be back and it was a pleasant evening.
Jonny Bruce, St. James Wine Vaults, October 22nd