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

Love Supreme Jazz Festival Rocks Up To The Roundhouse

Love Supreme Jazz Festival Rocks Up To T…

  With this year's annual event having drawn its biggest audience...

Read More.....
Oli Rockberger Rules The Multi-Genre Roost For Sovereign Launch

Oli Rockberger Rules The Multi-Genre Roo…

Whether exploring a gospel-tinged, hymnic solo introduction, which would have...

Read More.....
Atzmon & Orient House Ensemble Pay Tribute To Legends At Pizza Express

Atzmon & Orient House Ensemble Pay T…

Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble will be presenting...

Read More.....
Ronnie Scott’s Instrument Amnesty Returns

Ronnie Scott’s Instrument Amnesty Return…

Following the success of the inaugural Music Instrument Amnesty in...

Read More.....
Instant Composers Pool Orchestra goes Dutch with UK and Ireland dates

Instant Composers Pool Orchestra goes Du…

The unique, internationally renowned Instant Composers Pool Orchestra launches Going...

Read More.....
Martin Taylor and Jazz at The Philharmonic concert to save Swanage Jazz Festival

Martin Taylor and Jazz at The Philharmon…

News that this year's 28th edition of the Swanage Jazz...

Read More.....
Nérija, Dinosaur and Jim Mullen among Parliamentary Jazz Award winners

Nérija, Dinosaur and Jim Mullen among Pa…

The 13th annual Parliamentary Jazz Awards took place for the...

Read More.....
Hugh Masekela withdraws from Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya concert due to ill health

Hugh Masekela withdraws from Abdullah Ib…

Revered South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela has announced that, due...

Read More.....
Dee Byrne's Entropi Radiate Amid Rough And Tumble At Kings Place Album Launch

Dee Byrne's Entropi Radiate Amid Rough A…

  The most striking thing about Moment Frozen, the second release from British...

Read More.....
Dave Liebman and Richie Beirach fire-up new Eastside Jazz Club

Dave Liebman and Richie Beirach fire-up …

The opening night of Birmingham's new Eastside Jazz Club featured...

Read More.....
James Taylor And Soweto Kinch Among Poetic Masters Of Rhythm And Rhyme At 2017 Limerick Fest

James Taylor And Soweto Kinch Among Poet…

  The Limerick Jazz Festival continues to spring surprises, and to...

Read More.....
Dave Liebman/Richie Beirach, Christine & Ingrid Jensen and Mark Turner head to Birmingham’s Eastside Jazz Club

Dave Liebman/Richie Beirach, Christine …

Jazz in the Midlands got a huge boost with the...

Read More.....
Mike Gibbs' Dramatic Big Band Birthday Bash A Blast At Birmingham's CBSO Centre

Mike Gibbs' Dramatic Big Band Birthday B…

  In celebration of his 80th year, the composer and arranger...

Read More.....
Mike Carr – 1937-2017

Mike Carr – 1937-2017

Mike Carr, who died on 22 September aged 79, was...

Read More.....
Jazz FM's Sarah Ward, Chris Philips and Nigel Williams up for radio  awards

Jazz FM's Sarah Ward, Chris Philips and …

Two of Jazz FM's longest serving presenters, DJs Sarah Ward...

Read More.....
Joon Moon Exclusive stream of ‘Moonshine Corner’

Joon Moon Exclusive stream of ‘Moonshine…

This year's EFG London Jazz Festival features a performance by...

Read More.....
Westbrook and Wakeman line up with the Uncommon Orchestra for A Bigger Show

Westbrook and Wakeman line up with the U…

Although Mike and Kate Westbrook are based in the West...

Read More.....
Afro-Beat Icon Tony Allen Sups At The Jazz Source For Capital Sidewinding Summit

Afro-Beat Icon Tony Allen Sups At The Ja…

One of the distinguishing marks of the London Jazz Cafe's...

Read More.....
Liane Carroll and Claire Martin play Jazz for Labour in Brighton

Liane Carroll and Claire Martin play Jaz…

Jazz for Labour is presenting multi-award winning singers Liane Carroll...

Read More.....
Pianist Millar Shows Promise At Pizza

Pianist Millar Shows Promise At Pizza

  As the example of Artist Share amply demonstrates, crowdfunding initiatives...

Read More.....
Gustafsson's Vinyl-Collecting Confessions Published

Gustafsson's Vinyl-Collecting Confession…

Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson has trawled the archives of his...

Read More.....
WIN three stunning Bill Evans vinyl LP sets by entering the Jazzwise Reader Survey

WIN three stunning Bill Evans vinyl LP s…

We'd love to know what you think of Jazzwise. We...

Read More.....
Zoe Rahman leads Inner City Ensemble with nine new talents on board

Zoe Rahman leads Inner City Ensemble wit…

Leading UK pianist Zoe Rahman is set to head up...

Read More.....
Makaya McCraven, Ashley Henry RE:ENSEMBLE and Theon Cross Trio unite Chicago and London for International Anthems

Makaya McCraven, Ashley Henry RE:ENSEMBL…

Some of the most exciting names from London and Chicago's...

Read More.....
The Write Stuff adds new qualification for young writers aged 18-25

The Write Stuff adds new qualification f…

This year's Write Stuff music journalism course will return for...

Read More.....
Exclusive stream of ‘I Miss You’ – New single from Wayne Shorter produced seven-piece Holophonor

Exclusive stream of ‘I Miss You’ – New s…

Fast emerging US progressive jazz seven-piece Holophonor are set to...

Read More.....
Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2017 nominees announced

Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2017 nominees …

  The nominees for the 2017 Parliamentary Jazz Awards have been...

Read More.....
John Jack – 1933-2017

John Jack – 1933-2017

John Jack was one of those figures who seem to...

Read More.....
Liane Carroll, Miles Mosley and Seal for Jazz Voice’s tenth anniversary at EFG London Jazz Festival

Liane Carroll, Miles Mosley and Seal for…

The names have been revealed for this year's 10th edition...

Read More.....
Video Exclusive – 'Forlane' from VEIN Plays Ravel

Video Exclusive – 'Forlane' from VEIN Pl…

Swiss piano trio VEIN release their latest album, VEIN Plays...

Read More.....
Denys Baptiste, Mike Gibbs and ICP Orchestra for Turner Sims autumn/winter programme

Denys Baptiste, Mike Gibbs and ICP Orche…

Southampton's Turner Sims concert hall has a bumper crop of...

Read More.....
Nubya Garcia lines up for Steve Reid Innovation showcase – video preview

Nubya Garcia lines up for Steve Reid Inn…

This year's edition of the Steve Reid Innovation showcase will...

Read More.....
Tom Millar Quartet takes Unnatural Events on tour

Tom Millar Quartet takes Unnatural Event…

Pianist and composer Tom Millar starts his autumn tour this...

Read More.....
Hats off for Stetson's big blowout at Brighton's Duke of York

Hats off for Stetson's big blowout at Br…

  Colin Stetson has enough draw to fill this arthouse cinema...

Read More.....
Giovanni Hidalgo fundraiser at Jazz Cafe cancelled

Giovanni Hidalgo fundraiser at Jazz Cafe…

UPDATE: Since this story was first published (here and in...

Read More.....
Walter Becker 1950-2017

Walter Becker 1950-2017

Walter Becker and Donald Fagen may have been two against...

Read More.....

ABJazzWise


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

Newsletter

Sign up to the Jazzwise monthly E-Newsletter

 

© 2016 MA Business & Leisure Ltd registered in England and Wales number 02923699 Registered office: Jesses Farm, Snow Hill, Dinton, Salisbury, SP3 5HN . Designed By SE24 MEDIA