Appearing with his quartet for bucolic Emerald Isle dates in counties Down and Antrim in June, Ivor-nominated last year for a composition drawn from big band album Glimpses of Truth pianist Ivo Neame leads his quartet for some rare dates over the Irish Sea. Ivo burst on to the London scene around the same time as the subsequent Impossible Gentleman and Methenyian Gwilym Simcock, a contemporary of his at the Royal Academy of Music and then toured widely internationally with the highly successful and acclaimed Avishai Cohen-inspired double bass-led trio Phronesis now on hiatus. In 2010 he even jammed very early in his career with Wynton Marsalis at cutting edge London club the Vortex on what proved an unforgettable night burnt on to the memory of all present, Wynton's band the veritable Harlem Globetrotters in a way striking up 'Sweet Georgia Brown' before pianists took turns to sit in.
Savour the moving 'Emerald Horsehoe' (track of the year on marlbank in 2018) from Phronesis: Ivo Neame on piano, Jasper Høiby double bass and Anton Eger, drums
Glimpses of Truth in 2021 was Ivo's first big band album and was recorded entirely remotely during the Pandemic. This blog last reported on Neame live in September when the highly virtuosic man of Kent was performing with twentysomething saxophonist and flautist Emma Rawicz probably last year's biggest new-star revelation tied only in our memories with the equally prodigious David Mrakpor earwitnessed live anywhere on the UK scene. Also on that Rawicz gig was drummer James Maddren who is one of two drummers on Glimpses of Truth. Tenorist George Crowley from Norfolk, formerly a wise head running the Kentish Town, Oxford Tavern, scene in north London, often plays with Ivo as does Empirical bassist Tom Farmer. Speaking of playing in small venues Ivo values intimacy and says it's ''quite a special thing, the social element in these places. The audience isn't separate.''
The tiny Magy's Farm shed venue deep in the heart of Down a short drive from Belfast certainly is in keeping with human-sized spaces. There, think the film Field of Dreams with its Strayhornian overtones and build-it-and-they-will-come sense of wonder. SG