Thoughts on Hexagonal , 29 October 2021
Three superb horn players were with us on Wednesday. Hexagonal’s music involves complex rhythms, often different for each horn. Their timing and intensity was, to my ears, perfect. The sound was really exciting. We had Greg Heath on Tenor and Soprano, Jason Yarde on Alto and Baritone, and Graeme Flowers on Trumpet and Flugel. Greg was the band’s announcer.
John Donaldson arranged the music for the band. He is a formidable pianist. It was great to have bassist Matt Ridley back. Drummer Tristan Banks got caught in traffic and people glueing themselves to roads, so he arrived after the sound check so he didn’t have a chance to set his levels. All three of these guys were a delight to hear.
The music was amazing, very exciting, varied and often fun. This is what you would expect, I suppose, as it was all related to two great musicians and composers, McCoy Tyner and Bheki Mseleku. I had the pleasure of hearing McCoy in New York a few years ago and the power was overwhelming. They opened with Tyner’s “Walk Spirit Talk Spirit”. You were hit by just the horns and a surprising and wonderful vibe before the rhythm section came in to support it. Beautiful solos all round.
Mseleku’s lovely ballad, “My Passion” gave John a chance to display delicacy and intensity at the same time. Again the solos were captivating.
Just one more. Jason Yarde told us about his “Hill Climbing on the Tyner side”. He had two different compositions played simultaneously, great fun to listen to.
Lovely gig. Greatly looking forward to Alina in two weeks time.