Catching the last set of the Tom Ollendorff trio at the Vortex last night as the guitarist continues with trio dates touring A Song For You the striking aspect of Ollendorff's approach is partly to soft-sing to and around his virtuosic guitar lines. The London-based guitarist's debut, both Irish-born Conor Chaplin on double bass and French drummer Marc Michel, a matador presence (who reminded me stylistically of Tingvall trio drummer Jürgen Spiegel) from the album were present for this intimate Dalston appearance.
'Not in These Days' inspired by poet Jane Tyson Clement and the Charlie Parker rarity 'Bongo Beep' resounded appealingly in the blend of material. Ollendorf's sound is unusual, his improvisations grounded in ferociously detailed bebop intricacy that is overlaid by a veneer of dreamy introspection that the soft amplification treatment rounds off almost to the point of lontano. Album track Ollendorff original 'XY' was the pick of the set closely followed by the atmospheric 'Aare' named after a river that flows through Bern. While Chaplin certainly stole the show as the motor of the ensemble, his robustness of purpose and a darting momentum to his direction driving the sound forward, Ollendorff's quietly determined if cautious approach increasingly made sense the further into his dream world a listener travels buoyed by the trio's persuasive sense of momentum. SG. Tom Ollendorff, top