6 Pieces of Silver
Scarborough Jazz at The Cask
by Dick Armstrong
The 6 Pieces of Silver drew much enthusiastic acclaim from the Cask audience last Wednesday, and deservedly so. This fine band was formed to celebrate the work of legendary pianist and composer Horace Silver, and they play this music with verve and virtuosity.
For anyone familiar with this material it was wonderful to hear it played - and sung- with such spirit and joy. For those hearing it for the first time, it must have been revelatory ....
We were treated to all the favourites: Sister Sadie, Filthy McNasty, Senor Blues and the hypnotically beautiful Song For My Father.
Vocalist Louise Gibbs found much to do apart from expressively singing the lyrics. Often she was a 'third horn' in the front line, harmonising the melodies with the trumpet and tenor. Her scat singing was expert and plentiful, and on Tokyo Blues she provided wordless counterpoint to James Lancaster's trumpet solo.
The band is the brain-child of Paul Baxter who arranged the pieces to suit the particular instrumentation of the group, and whose rich, rounded double bass sound contributed strongly to he ensemble and whose solo work was delightful.
James Lancaster's trumpet playing was exc
ellent throughout with clean, articulate lines. Drummer Paul Smith drove the band with tremendous energy and was inventive, finding many subtle ways to detail his sound. The all-important piano duties were expertly filled by Zezo Olimpio, an astonishingly accomplished player.
The tenor sax parts were played by Stuart McDonald, a last-minute replacement who had to sight-read some complex music. He did that faultlessly and much more, Stuart is too good a musician to just fill a vacancy. He added to the spirit of the evening, producing many solos that were intelligent and heartfelt.
Altogether, the evening had plenty for everyone from the first number to the encore - The Preacher - which was given a party feel with an intentionally 'corny' revivalist quality that brought the house down.
Review Courtesy of Scarborough Jazz
Photo. Mike Jackson