Hot Potatoes: Pavillon Get Under The Skin At Posk

jim-rattigan-live

At London's Cafe Posk last year pianist Ivo Neame gifted free cupcakes to punters minded to buy his homemade ear candy: CDs. By his own admission Jim Rattigan is more of a savoury than a sugar man so he has remixed the culinary sales pitch and offers potatoes instead. The spud-u-like promotion neatly brings to the boil the strain of humour that marks this performance. Yet as playful and plentiful as the banter between musician and audience may be it does not deflect attention from an evening of impressive composing, arranging and improvising.

As a bandleader who plays the French horn, Rattigan could be seen as niche or novelty within jazz, and though his most notable musical antecedents – think Junior Collins, John Clark, Tom Varner – are relatively few the equally significant fact is that he is at the helm of a 12-piece orchestra, Pavillon bolstered by soloists like alto-saxophonist Martin Speake, drummer Gene Calderazzo and trumpeter Percy Pursglove. Playing material drawn largely from the recently reissued 2011 set, Strong Tea, the band is anchored by a potent rhythm section in which Calderazzo is joined by double-bassist Dave Whitford and pianist Hans Koller. They make a strong engine within the ensemble.

Rattigan's writing and arranging effectively marshal the large resources at his disposal in any case. The hard swing of the album's title-track and the carefully woven countermelodies of 'Dulwich Park' celebrate the grandstand flourish of big band vocab, but there are enough left turns taken throughout the gig to make it clear that Rattigan is very interested in channelling experimental energies into his scores, and some of the edgier it not harsher timbres may reflect his experience of working in unusually configured outfits such as the trio formed with pianist Liam Noble and violinist Thomas Gould several years ago. 'Parkwood Fair', inspired by the off-centre geometry of a twisted bicycle at a fete Rattigan attended, is a good example of the sound palette nuanced with imagination. A moody 6/4 lament in which brass and reeds are used sparingly, teasingly, tantalisingly, it builds slowly as Calderazzo skips funkily on the pulse. Haunting melodic combinations of Rattingan's French horn and muted trumpets eventually give way to a boisterous fanfare after which the whole band strides to the finale.

On this and other pieces the unique texture of the French horn comes into sharp focus. It is a low register instrument with an intriguing, pastel-like softness, something exploited by the far-sighted arranger Claude Thornhill and underlined by the fact that Rattigan is the only member of the horn section using a microphone, his phrases given the faintest electric flutter amid the acoustic purity of the other horns. Then again Rattigan's positioning on stage is noteworthy. Standing right in front of the double-bass and next to the trombones he is a micro-bass, a sotto voce bass within a bass unit, and it is the velvety, wistful delicacy and subtle swell of the notes that make the French horn much more than a curiosity.

Ultimately the overriding impression made by Pavillon is a joyous one and the scattering of snappy blues throughout the two sets lends a warming uplift to the evening that chimes nicely with the leader's good cheer. This is the penultimate gig of an Arts Council tour and the vibe is up. As befits the talk of hearty foodstuffs in cold, dry January, things wind up with 'Mung Beans.'

– Kevin Le Gendre

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website

If you do not change browser settings, you consent to continue. Learn more

I understand

Breaking News

Intakt Fest Goes International At The Vortex

Intakt Fest Goes International At The Vo…

  Given the fact that Swiss record company Intakt has been...

Read More.....
Shabaka Hutchings, Donny McCaslin and The Rolling Stones among Jazz FM Awards winners

Shabaka Hutchings, Donny McCaslin and Th…

The fourth edition of the Jazz FM Awards, presented by...

Read More.....
Special London Screening Of Ascenseur Pour L'échafaud

Special London Screening Of Ascenseur Po…

As part of the global celebrations for International Jazz Day...

Read More.....
Norma Winstone’s Interplay line-up for Leamington Spa

Norma Winstone’s Interplay line-up for L…

To coincide with International Jazz Day, Leamington Spa-based promoters In...

Read More.....
Alice Zawadzki and Gwyneth Herbert sing with Sam Lee’s Nightingales

Alice Zawadzki and Gwyneth Herbert sing …

Adventurous Mercury Prize-nominated folk singer Sam Lee's nature-bound concert series...

Read More.....
Empirical Pop-Up Jazz Lounge Bops to Birmingham, London and Liverpool

Empirical Pop-Up Jazz Lounge Bops to Bir…

MOBO Award-winning Brit-jazz four-piece Empirical are set to take their...

Read More.....
Freddie Gavita Quartet Make Lasting Statement At Transient Launch

Freddie Gavita Quartet Make Lasting Stat…

Ostensibly a CD launch gig to promote his new album...

Read More.....
Jazz Em Agosto 2017 Line-Up Announced

Jazz Em Agosto 2017 Line-Up Announced

  Lisbon's annual summit of sonic adventure Jazz em Agosto returns...

Read More.....
Sounds of Denmark dances back to Dean Street’s Pizza Express Jazz Club

Sounds of Denmark dances back to Dean St…

Making a splash with its inaugural weeklong run in 2016...

Read More.....
Lakeside Luminaries: Møster!, Ståle Storløkken and Sheila Jordan all shine at Vossa Jazz

Lakeside Luminaries: Møster!, Ståle Stor…

  To begin with, Vossa Jazz has the advantage of its tranquil...

Read More.....
The Necks Head For Brighton

The Necks Head For Brighton

Those fabulous folk at Dictionary Pudding Promotions and Brighton Alternative...

Read More.....
 Auand Label's Bisceglie Breakout Strikes Right Balance Between Freedom And Finesse

Auand Label's Bisceglie Breakout Strike…

  Since its inception in 2001 the Auand imprint has emerged...

Read More.....
Jazz-Rock Guitar Genius Allan Holdsworth Dies Age 70

Jazz-Rock Guitar Genius Allan Holdsworth…

The passing of Allan Holdsworth on Easter day has robbed...

Read More.....
Kamasi Washington Divulges Truth With Young Turks Global Deal

Kamasi Washington Divulges Truth With Yo…

Hot-shot saxophonist and bandleader Kamasi Washington has announced the release...

Read More.....
Freddie Gavita for Ronnie’s album launch – Transient Video Exclusive

Freddie Gavita for Ronnie’s album launch…

Fast rising British trumpeter Freddie Gavita is set to launch...

Read More.....
Ethan Iverson to leave The Bad Plus and Orrin Evans steps in

Ethan Iverson to leave The Bad Plus and …

Minneapolis piano trio pioneers The Bad Plus have announced, after...

Read More.....
Mancio/Broadbent Seduce With Sensuous Songbook At Ronnie's

Mancio/Broadbent Seduce With Sensuous So…

Introduced by the great Ian Shaw, a sold out Ronnie...

Read More.....
Jazz FM Awards to honour Charlie Watts and feature performances from Donny McCaslin, Georgie Fame and Laura Mvula

Jazz FM Awards to honour Charlie Watts a…

This year's Jazz FM Awards are now set to take...

Read More.....
ACT 25 Magic Years Birthday Concert gets Berlin buzzing

ACT 25 Magic Years Birthday Concert gets…

Twenty-five years and still going strong is some achievement, especially...

Read More.....
Sun Ra Arkestra surf the spaceways at Lewes Con Club

Sun Ra Arkestra surf the spaceways at Le…

  It's a long way from Chicago's East Side to the...

Read More.....
Jasper Høiby's Fellow Creatures Unleash Their Inner Beast At The Spin, Oxford

Jasper Høiby's Fellow Creatures Unleash …

  Jasper Høiby's new band announced themselves with a bass riff...

Read More.....
Nitin Sawhney and Rachel Cohen celebrate Abram Wilson Foundation's fifth anniversary with gala gig

Nitin Sawhney and Rachel Cohen celebrate…

The Abram Wilson Foundation, the charity set up by the...

Read More.....
Kamasi Washington and Miles Mosley bring West Coast heat to Love Supreme

Kamasi Washington and Miles Mosley bring…

Los Angeles tenor titan Kamsi Washington, double bass dude Miles...

Read More.....
Brad Mehldau/Chris Thile, Tomasz Stańko and Bill Laurance added to EFG London Jazz Fest line-up

Brad Mehldau/Chris Thile, Tomasz Stańko …

The 25th EFG London Jazz Festival continues its early build...

Read More.....
Charles Hayward, Sven-Åke Johansson and Weasel Walter represent percussive sub-current at Sonic Protest festival in Paris

Charles Hayward, Sven-Åke Johansson and …

  Sonic Protest runs its core festival across various Parisian venues...

Read More.....
Shobaleader One frenzied and fired-up at Village Underground

Shobaleader One frenzied and fired-up at…

You can tell a lot about a man by the...

Read More.....
Morning Ain't Broken: Cline Meets Horn For Small Hours Summit On RSD Day Single

Morning Ain't Broken: Cline Meets Horn F…

Nels Cline contributes the one and only outtake from his Lovers...

Read More.....
Partikel power-up with Counteraction - video exclusive 'Lanterns'

Partikel power-up with Counteraction - v…

Sax-bass-drums trio Partikel return with a new album, Counteraction, set...

Read More.....
Jasper Høiby’s Fellow Creatures, Yazz Ahmed and Dinosaur among the delights at Bristol Jazz Festival

Jasper Høiby’s Fellow Creatures, Yazz Ah…

Now in its fifth year the Bristol International Jazz and...

Read More.....
Lauren Dalrymple celebrates 18 Years of the SoFF Music Jam in Brixton

Lauren Dalrymple celebrates 18 Years of …

Dynamic jazz singer Lauren Dalrymple has hosted her SoFF Music...

Read More.....
Vinyl liaison for lost Thelonious Monk LP for Record Store Day release

Vinyl liaison for lost Thelonious Monk L…

Thelonious Monk's only ever soundtrack recording, for the provocative 1959...

Read More.....
Danilo Pérez, Christian Scott and Gonzalo Rubalcaba majestic and magnetic at Haiti’s Festival International de Jazz de Port-au-Prince

Danilo Pérez, Christian Scott and Gonzal…

Port-au-Prince is one of the most intoxicating places I've ever...

Read More.....
James Brandon Lewis Trio Dazzle On UK Debut At Ronnie Scott's

James Brandon Lewis Trio Dazzle On UK De…

  After a stellar performance for a sold-out audience John McLaughlin...

Read More.....
Soft Machine, Ezra Collective and Ella tribute for Elgar Room jazz nights

Soft Machine, Ezra Collective and Ella t…

The Elgar Room, the Royal Albert Hall's highly accommodating 200-capacity...

Read More.....
John McLaughlin blasts off with the 4th Dimension at Ronnie Scott’s

John McLaughlin blasts off with the 4th …

The weeklong Jazzwise 20th anniversary celebrations kicked off in spectacular...

Read More.....
Awkward: A Short Film About Evan Parker

Awkward: A Short Film About Evan Parker

Evan Parker draws back the veil on the challenges of...

Read More.....


 

Qobuz-ad

 

Subcribe To Jazzwise

Advertisement

Call 0800 137201 to subscribe or click here to email the subscriptions team

Get in touch

Jazzwise Magazine,
St. Judes Church,
Dulwich Road, 
Herne Hill,
London, SE24 0PD.

0208 677 0012

Latest Tweets

RT @jazzahead: Fast, fast, faster @brokenbrass #jazzahead2017 #europeanjazzmeeting https://t.co/EonImwPIHq
Follow Us - @Jazzwise
Intakt Fest Goes International At The Vortex https://t.co/3bKEQEScmZ @vortexjazz @Intaktrecords @k_le_gendre… https://t.co/hLXXtoHLbg
Follow Us - @Jazzwise
Beautiful picking from Dominic Miller https://t.co/v9dvg2qwpW #NewMusicFriday @ecm @woodenwand @DominicMiller1 @talk_west @OfficialSting
Follow Us - @Jazzwise
RT @ARTEconcertDE: JETZT #live: die "Finnish Night" bei der @jazzahead! Wir wünschen euch einen fantastischen Abend! https://t.co/yZqzwj2l…
Follow Us - @Jazzwise
RT @12pointsfest: Want to be first to know about the 12 hottest emerging acts in Euro jazz? @jazzahead today 12pm at @JazzDanmark stand for…
Follow Us - @Jazzwise

Newsletter

Sign up to the Jazzwise monthly E-Newsletter