Pete Judge, St. James Wine Vaults, Thursday 24th June

Pete Judge brought his collection of trumpets (pocket, flugel horn and regular), a bag of tunes and seasoning of repartee to the Vaults this week to charm and move by turns the assembled punters. This was no ‘reel out the standards and flex the bop-based jazz muscles session’ however, and Pete’s imagination and personality shaped the way the Jazz House Trio responded in a way that not all guests do. This became a group gig with the band playing together more than a soloist showcase.

The second set started with and Anouar Brahem piece, Astrakhan Cafe, a chant like north african flavoured melody that invited Trevor on drums to become a percussionist in a duet: he responded beautifully using his hands on the drums. Don Cherry’s Art Deco followed with a quirky free intro morphing into the theme’s cheeky, playful swing. By the time they played a standard (Oliver Nelson’s Stolen Moments) the band were responding to Pete’s use of space, rythmn and melodic phrases more than volume to create intensity and tension. Vyv’s solo began with one hand tracing angular single note phrases and Trevor and Wade didn’t rush to fill the space, creating a tense moody vibe that stayed throughout the piece.  This set had a real personality about it and Jazz House Trio demonstrated once again what a versatile bunch they are. Those who came expecting pyrotechnics or the rocky sound of Get the Blessing may have been taken by surprise, but I left feeling blessed nevertheless; a lovely set… what WAS that Welsh hymn they played?

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