“I’m showing off a bit tonight aren’t I?” said Jason with a rueful grin after a massive name drop in the course of naming the blistering latin tune with which the trio had opened the second set. The tune in question was Chick Corea’s Spain and if you’re going to name drop, then it may as well be big. So Rebello referred to the time he’d been out to Chick’s house (in Florida) for a jam. In the first set, there’d been a reference to touring with Wayne Shorter in his 20s. Nobody minded. They are reference points in the development of one UK’s foremost jazz musicians and its possible we’re blase about the frequency with which we get to hear him play locally. It was certainly not his first visit to the Vaults and the second occasion on which he’d brought son George along on drums. Resident bass man and organiser Wade Edwards had a deserved grin on his face as the sell out crowd squeezed in and just a bit of sweat on the brow as Rebello and Son put him through his paces. Standing a couple of feet from the keyboard was a spine tingling experience as Rebello perceptibly went up through the gears during the first set. As he launched into Cantaloupe Island, the felt in the bones, expressed through the muscles earthy, funky groove with razor sharp timing was enough to make the blood fizz and he really let rip as patterns spooled out and hooky riffs tweaked the ear over the cycling sequence. On other tunes like Sting’s La Belle Dame Sans Regrets or another Corea number You’re Everything, it was a fluid lyricism that emerged. A sumptuous reading of Somewhere over the Rainbow reminded us of his ear for shifting and reworking harmony on the fly. It wasn’t a one man show though. George may have only just finished his GCSEs but there was a maturity and depth to the interplay with the keyboard. Some of the standout moments of the gig were the almost conversational exchanges of 4’s and 8s between keyboard and drums and repeatedly instinctive echoing and doubling of rhythmic flourishes and flexibility in the Jason’s soloing. They were at it again on Billy’s Bounce as a finale, fours bouncing back and forth between father and son, building to a great climax. You have to hand it to Wade Edwards: his capacity to lure the best musicians around to the Vaults and keep them coming back means we are treated to nights like this – a regular Thursday night at Jazz at the Vaults and reliably exhilarating.
Double helpings of Rebello and an Edwards, St. James Wine Vaults, Thursday 9th July