Thoughts on Q3 featuring Kevin Flanagan – 10 January 2024

The first gig of 2024 was a great start to what looks like a very exciting season.  I note that we described Kevin Flanagan as “master saxophonist”, and boy, he blew a stunning gig. Kevin is very well known to us and loved, but the other three who were new to us, were masters as well. 

The band was led by pianist and composer Martin Hallmark. All but two of the tunes played were his compositions. He gave us a varied programme of thoughtful music. He is a wonderful pianist.

Derek Scurll knows how to play the room. He is a very skilled drummer, perfect support for the band.

The revelation was 5 string electric bassist Tiago Coimbra. His speed and invention were quite wonderful. He used a little stomp box on two numbers that I noticed. The effects were very appropriate to the tunes, and they did not blast distortion at us. The last tune of the first set, “Nomads”, was a lovely example of that (see Steves note in the set list).

Steve actually got the set list from Martin: it is a bit of a  rarity to have a programme solidly fixed. So when  the audience asked for an encore, they had nothing ready. Kevin suggests a blues, which was met with approval. He titled it “Born of Desperation”. Without the restriction of written music, the four of them blew a beautiful blues.

Next up, on the 24 of the month, tenorist Pete Long and trumpeter Ryan Quigley will celebrate the music of the brothers Cannonball and Nat Adderly, with Chris Ingham on piano, Malcolm Creese on bass and George Double on drums. It will be a cracker. Do join us.

Take care




All numbers composed by Martin Hallmark except for African Skies which was composed by Michael Brecker.

  1.   Through the Clouds
  2. Odyssey – played as a trio and a homage to the late, great Chick Corea with whom Martin spent some time in a piano workshop.
  3. Lost at Sea
  4. N.J.B.
  5. A Good Day For Breathing
  6. Emerald Eyes
  7. Nomads – a middle eastern flavoured number with Tiago Coimbra’s electric bass sounding like an oud!

*          *          *           *         *        *        *

  1. Fuzzy Hacker-tat
  2. African Skies
  3. Rondo di Girulata 
  4. Equipoise
  5. Water Speckled Midnight
  6. Nocturne – reflecting Martin’s attempts to play Chopin during the pandemic credited for getting his left hand moving better on the piano.
  7. Turnaround Time (Martin Hallmark)


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