Thoughts on The Andrew Cleyndert Quartet – “Eclectricity” – 11 October 2023

Thoughts on The Andw Cleyndert Quartet - "Electricity"  - 11 October 2023

What, no Drums? The four instumruments had much more clarity and presence than with a drummer. Even with the individual presence, the group sounded together. That is interesting considering that the piano and guitar have roughly the same pitch range and fought each other as sometimes happens: it can be a sound guy’s nightmare to provide them with clarity.

It was really great to see and hear Andrew Cleyndert lead the group on bass. His pianist was Mark Edwards, Martin Shaw played Flugel throughout, with the trumpet firmly on its stand. Colin Oxley is a favourite guitarist. This band has been around for a decade now, and though Mark was an early deputy, they listened hard and had great unity. 

Colin had some great solos, but I was interested in his accompaniment. Rhythm guitar is one of those things that you don’t notice until it goes away, and then you really miss it. Colin kept it at just the right level. If you chose to focus on him accompanying, his choice of chord seemed to be controlled by his listening to the soloist. A piano, which is a percussive instrument, seems more forward in accompaniment.

Mark is a superb pianist. He hasn’t been with us since he was with Ben Castle back in the Fleece pub. Mark uses the whole piano, even using the soft pedal to change the piano’s timbre. He is man of power, like McCoy Tyner. His accompaniment was excellent.

I have loved Martin’s work for many years. Chatting, he described himself as just a guy who plays for other guys. He didn’t mention that he was also continuously on call for that, and that he does session work with all that demands. Wednesday was flugel playing at its best, leaving the trumpet and Harmon mute lonely on the floor.

And our leader? Andrew’s essentials (pitch, technique, solid beat) are perfect, of course. But it is wonderful to hear the result of his musical thinking, which demands things like top range to bottom range twice in an up-beat bar. He put together, it seems on the fly, an excellent programme (see Steves set list below) with lots of variation of tempo and feel. There was a lot of music from a range of latin vibes. Everything had a common feel as being from this band at this time. 

It was a very enjoyable gig. 

You need to know about a special gig coming up on Wednesday 25 October. Josh Kemp is giving us an evening of the “Love Supreme” side of John Coltrane. He is bringing Gareth Williams on piano, Dave Manington on bass and Tristan Maillot on drums, and some remarkable visuals. I hope to see you there.



  1. Two Little Pearls (Oscar Pettiford)/Unrequited (Brad Mehldau) 
  2. One Hundred Ways (Kathy Wakefield)
  3. Valse Triste (Jean Sibelius) also adapted by Wayne Shorter on The Soothsayer
  4. So Tender (Keith Jarrett)
  5. A Felicidade (Antonio Carlos Jobim)
  6. Secret Love (Sammy Fain/Paul Francis Webster)

*          *          *           *         *        *        *

  1. Você Que Não Vem (Toninho Horta
  2. Ojoe de Rojo (Cedar Walton)
  3. Answer Me (Gerhard Winkler)/ Dexter’s Tune (Randy Newman). ‘Answer Me’ was originally titled Mutterlein with German lyrics. Contemporary recordings with English lyrics by Frankie Laine and David Whitfield topped the singles chart in 1953. ‘Dexter’s Tune’ was from the film ‘Awakenings’.
  4. Song of the Sabia (Antonio Carlos Jobim) arranged by Cedar Walton
  5. Hamp’s Blues (Hampton Hawes)
  6. Come Dance With Me (Eddie Harris
  7. ENCORE: Danny Boy (Trad.)

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