Vitor Pereira Quintet, BeBop Club, Friday 21st March

A capacity crowd jammed the room on Friday to listen to the  Vitor Periera Quintet, playing the last night of fairly extensive national tour.  Although London based, a few of the names were quite familiar both from previous visits and a growing national profile in their own right. Led Bib’s  Chris Williams was on alto, Dave Hamblett in the drum chair is becoming a Bristol regular (here with Gardiner-Bateman outfits recently and with Ivo Neame’s Quintet before that) and George Crowley as well as being very visible on the dynamic London scene was at The Fringe recently with Dan wood’s Monk project. With in demand bass man Ryan Trebilcock completing the line-up, they weren’t short of fire power. It was the guitarist leader’s gig however and its was his distinctive, dense, driving compositions that they were playing throughout. There was plenty of growly choppy guitar, interspersed with dissonant sustained chords.  The grooves were all clattery, snappy backbeat propelled by Hamblett’s insistent but never overwhelming drums, occasionally bursting into bravura inventive solos. On the Celtic flavoured Miranda he provided a real highlight. Alto and Tenor blended and bounced of each laying out the snakey , angular melodic lines of the themes, often restated and reworked repeatedly. The effect was of constantly building tension and momentum. Both Chris Williams and George Crowley built firey solos somehow managing to reel out forceful, jagged lines whilst sounding just a bit reflective, even melancholic. Just when the clamorous themes and solos threatened to overwhelm, A simple Disguise dissolved into an atmospheric mood, giving way to a more exposed guitar solo. The ballad Under the Pillow followed before the beats kicked back in to close the set.    This was ‘pay attention’ intricate music played with zest and fire by a top notch band who each provided moments of real excitement.

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