Rollins Week Part 1; Chapel Arts Centre, 12th November


What do you do on rainy Thursday evening in Bath if you are local resident Clare Teal say, or Pee Wee Ellis of nearby Frome? Why you chip along to Chapel Arts Centre in Bath to see Denis Rollins with his new organ trio – Velocity Trio. I’m glad they did,  bringing their singing voice and sax respectively; when they joined the trio later in the evening it tied a very large bow on the evening. Not that Denis and his two pals (Pedro Segundo on drums and Ross Stanley at the organ) were in need of assistance. It was already a special evening before the guests joined in. The trio seemed to be on fire from the outset. They P1010376launched into a Rollins original, Hot to Trot, with no ceremony. This is organ trio music. Infectious grooves, the beat more coiled spring than merely propulsive, fiery soloing and the fun they were having very evident; there was nothing accidental about this – every chart that Ross Stanley produced seemed to need two music stands to accommodate it and about seven pages! There were plenty of great moments, Stanley’s soloing offered several; Segundo’s drum solo link between two tunes was another,  running the range from whisper to shout and from abstract shimmers to impossibly groovy, percussion like tatoos on the rims of drums and cymbals. The judicious use of some electronics by Rollins added such depth to the sound that i wondered a few times why he  would ever need more than three in the band. The material was varied. The funky samba like Hot to Trot was followed by slightly more classic organ trio grooves but veered of into  out and out swing as well as dipping into the funk pile.

Clare Teal and Pee Wee joined for a rendition of Georgia. We just sat back and revelled in the moment. Everyone on stage was having such a good time it woudl have been churlish not join in.

We are excitedly anticipating Rollins Week part 2 with Sonny at the Barbican on saturday. John Fordham has done an interview with the great man. A little voice is telling me however that this evening’s unheralded moments will retain a warm glow as intense as anything we might experience at the weeked.


One comment

  1. Hi Mike,
    In regard to your Chapel Arts blog, I must agree that it is mystifying. The Jaqui Dankworth gig sold 7 tickets on the Chapel website and head man Svanur was heard to complain that the programmer was booking “names no one had ever heard of, like this Jacqui Dankworth.”
    I must point out that Empirical did NOT play at the Chapel. They were canceled by the owner 4 days before the gig, for which no promotion was done. They refused to pay Empirical the contractually agreed cancellation fee and are now being sued for the money by Empirical’s management and the Musician’s Union. The Chapel owner tried shift responsibility for Empirical’s payment to his previous Artistic Director, claiming he had never had authority to sign contracts.
    Most of the jazz has been canceled, i.e., Guy Barker, Annie Whitehead, with only the singers remaining. They even took a jazz gig (Tom Arthurs) off their programme that was actually a Festival gig; it has been returned to the site.
    Oddly, Evan Parker’s gig remains, thought it has sold no tickets, which does not bode well for it actually taking place.
    Bath Spa University has pulled out of the Chapel, moving to Burdall’s Yard, and will be taking their lights, lighting and sound desks, piano and stage with them.
    It coulda been a contender, but this seems like a crazy death rattle.

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