On Wednesday last, Julian Costello (soprano and tenor), David Beebee (piano), Dave Jones (5 string bass) and Eric Ford (drums) gave us a gig that will stand in the memory. Steve Jordan has written the bulk of this post, but I wanted to mention the lyricism and dynamics of all four of the players. The variation of dynamics throughout each song and even through long single notes was remarkable.
And now Stephen… What a wonderful gig we had on Wednesday evening and what a pity that more people weren’t there to hear it. I’m not clear why but sincerely hope our audiences pick up – I worry that the “cost of living crisis” is hitting people hard and evenings out are being sacrificed. Our next gig will be a test of how true that is.It was a thoughtful presentation and programme, and I want them back soon.
So many of the numbers told a story, as our host and saxophonist Julian said. Sunflowers – about his dad’s night-time raid on an angry French farmer’s field; a tune, based on the intro to the theme tune for the TV series Morse about cosy evenings indoors; Look At Yourself With A Smile – a therapist’s advice; Everyone Has A Story (I think) about missing his Maths ‘O’ Level exam on the third attempt! Oh dear, we have all had those moments in our lives. But, but, but …… he didn’t explain the beautiful encore which I recognised as Sting’s Fragile. Below are the lyrics to the first verse of the song, which Sting released in 1988:
If blood will flow when flesh and steel are one Drying in the colour of the evening sun Tomorrow’s rain will wash the stains away But something in our minds will always stay Perhaps this final act was meant To clinch a lifetime’s argument That nothing comes from violence and nothing ever could For all those born beneath an angry star Lest we forget how fragile we are
Whether Julian chose this number for its potential relevance to the carnage currently taking place in the Ukraine, I do not know. Either way, it was a very apt and poignant choice and beautifully executed with Julian leading on the soprano saxophone.
Lonnie’s Lament (John Coltrane) based on Kenny Garrett’s interpretation Sunflowers (Costello) Morse (Costello) Untitled (Costello) Look At Yourself With a Smile (Costello) Bridges (Costello)
* * * * * *
La Rosita (Coleman Hawkins) Blackbird (Paul McCartney) Everyone Has A Story (Costello) Phrygian Blues (Costello) Caravan (Duke Ellington) Encore: Fragile (Sting)