Thoughts on The John Etheridge/Theo Travis Quartet, 14 June 2023


When musicians are truly enjoying their work, the audience feels it, and listen carefully. Part of the joy is to see the musicians listening to each other. Add to that the magic of world class musicianship, with ideas and riff tumbling out of their axes.

In other words, it was a superb gig from all four: John Etheridge on guitars, Theo Travis on tenor sax and flute, organist Pete Whittaker and George Double on drums.

It was structured as a typical Etheridge gig, We had music from many people, including one each from John and Theo. There was lots of off the cuff comments from John, very funny. He was careful to announce the tunes. The first tune of the second set was a solo by John, also typical. They had an encore in their pockets, and it was needed.

The encore was “Summertime”, and they played that lovely Gershwin tune as if they had just read the lyrics again. It got me thinking: there is one word in that song which makes it sad and difficult. The word is “Until”: safe until the child rises up singing. John’s solo was “God Bless the Child”. Is he thinking about children? The solo was truly beautiful, without a lot of added tech.

Theo’s “Three People” was lovely: he has such a lyrical flow in his solos. I wonder who the three people were: I might have liked to know them.

The structure of the gig allowed everybody room to blow, and the blowing was magnificent. I can still hear Theo’s solo on “Off the Wagon”, Pete on “I’m Coming Home”, George on “Sweet Emma”. 

Do not miss the next gig,  ‘Bryan Corbett’s “Hi-Fly” Quintet’. This marvellous trumpeter was booked for a gig during the pandemic; a rebook was cancelled due to illness. So on 

June 28th, we will finally get to hear him. He has a way with tonality like no other trumpeter. 

Thanks to Steve Jordan for the set list.

Take care,




  1. Take a Walk (Michael Brecker)
  2. Georgia on my Mind (Hoagy Carmichael)
  3. Off the Wagon (Tubby Hayes)
  4. In A Sentimental Mood (Duke Ellington)
  5. Sweet Emma (Nat Adderley) as adapted by John Scofield
  6. Friday Night at the  Cadillac Club (Bob Berg).

*          *          *           *         *        *        *

  1. God Bless The Child – Etheridge solo (Billie Holiday/A Herzog Jr)
  2. Do Like Eddie (John Scofield)
  3. Three People (Theo Travis) 
  4. There Is No Greater Love (Isham Jones/Marty Symes)
  5. A Distant Voice (John Etheridge)
  6. I’m Coming Home, Baby (Mel Tormé)
  7. ENCORE: Summertime (George Gershwin)