Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

Pete Long quintet, Spice of Life, Soho ***

MINTING THE SILVER: 'QUEEN OF THE SLIPSTREAM' BASS DON STEVE PEARCE SPARKLES. Richard Pite, Pete Long, Steve Pearce, Robin Aspland, Mark Armstrong - above, left-to-right - playing a Horace Silver themed lunchtime gig on Monday. With Long and …

Published: 4 Jun 2024. Updated: 25 days.

PL3

MINTING THE SILVER: 'QUEEN OF THE SLIPSTREAM' BASS DON STEVE PEARCE SPARKLES.

Richard Pite, Pete Long, Steve Pearce, Robin Aspland, Mark Armstrong - above, left-to-right - playing a Horace Silver themed lunchtime gig on Monday. With Long and Pearce on the far right in the group photo is trumpeter Mark Armstrong, who is professor of jazz at the Royal College of Music and known for his work in a music leadership role with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and who also plays in the Pete Long helmed Ronnie Scott's Jazz Orchestra. The first set also included a version of Horace-Scope (Blue Note, 1960) piece 'Strollin.''

GETTING GREASY AND FUNKY

A take on the title track of 1967 Blue Note album 'The Jody Grind' was a highlight of the first set of yesterday's lunchtime Horace Silver themed quintet gig in the basement bar of the Spice of Life pub in Soho. There was a very good turn-out. The music of Horace Silver while the music of a generation that would have been in their late teens or twenties when it was new is still massively hip - no need for an operation in that regard to investigate the nature of that formidable tone structure.

Led by alto saxophonist Pete Long whose gutsy characterful style drove the band along there were crisp trumpet solos from Mark Armstrong during the set and solid piano accompaniment on the upright from Robin Aspland whose style here reminded us a little of the late John Critchinson who used to play with Ronnie Scott.

But if anything in the first set it was double bassist Steve Pearce, well known for his work with Liane Carroll on the Hastings jazz vocals icon's luminous cover of Mary Gauthier's 'Mercy Now,' who stole the show. Pearce is also revered by many, marlbank included, for his stunning playing many years ago wrapped up so deliciously in blues and greens all over Van Morrison 1987 classic Poetic Champions Compose. And of course do not forget 'Did Ye Get Healed' from the same album, but every track speaks of genius.

''Sometimes I feel like freedom is near''

Hear Pearce's incredible riffery and sheer elasticity playing bass guitar on 'Queen of the Slipstream' or the doppler effect-like response he somehow achieves on the same album's incredible take on 'Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child' - for instance, as first ports of call.

On drums down in the bowels of this grand old Soho pub it was gig organiser, ''emperor,'' - quipped the witty Long - Richard Pite, an experienced wrangler of jazzers who used to run gigs at jazz laird Ranald Macdonald's Boisdale restaurant venue in Belgravia and provided workman-like AfroCuban patterned rhythmic tickles and hefty welly when required.

PL1

Robin Aspland, on the Spice's upright piano

Aspland, like Pearce, shares a connection with Van the Man. The Leeds jazzer was on the Belfast Cowboy's 1995 live album ducking and diving to effect alongside the great Georgie Fame on Hammond organ on Verve album How Long Has This Been Going On? recorded at Ronnie Scott's just a short walk away from the Spice. Amazing what talent comes together inconspicuously in an old luvvie friendly West End pub on a random Monday lunchtime. And for these pieces of Silver in the afternoon - only a tenner on the door.

Tags:

Tuesday 10 all-new jazz playlist for today

Click to listen on the Spotify icon and at the top of this page for the latest playlist Yesterday's 10: Madeleine Peyroux, photo: Ebru Yildiz.

Published: 4 Jun 2024. Updated: 46 days.

Next post

Click to listen on the Spotify icon and at the top of this page for the latest playlist

Yesterday's 10:

030624

Madeleine Peyroux, photo: Ebru Yildiz.