Bobby Wellins brings bright-eyed energy to the Verdict

Bobby Wellins

Bobby Wellins is unique; a near contemporary of Rollins, Shorter and Roy Haynes, he’s a representative of the generation who discovered modern jazz, introduced it to the UK and have nurtured it ever since. His dedication to the form has been constant over 50 years, unswayed by the vagaries of fashion (or fusion) as he’s pursued his unswerving creative pathway. The scene may have changed immeasurably and his surviving peers may be few, but tonight sees him in the kind of setting that’s he’s thrived in since the beginning; a small club, packed with fans, sharing the stage with a five-star band who know exactly what he’s about.

Spike Wells has been drumming with Wellins for over 30 years and such is the rapport between them that they seem locked in an intricate dance. The impromptu set-list, including numbers from great american songbook, a Jobim bossa, and re-workings from the bop repertoire, could have been drawn up at any point since the 1960s but everything sounds as if freshly minted tonight. Andy Cleyndert on bass and Mark Edwards on piano provide intuitive support; their consistently high level of creative soloing and absolute understanding of the material elevate this above the level of a casual blow, while retaining the relaxed spontaneity that’s integral to this music, and that cannot be faked.

Wellin’s tone is unmistakeable, light, centered but with a steely inner strength. Centre stage, playing side on to the crowd, he’s a picture of bright-eyed, dapper energy. His solos are models of space and economy; short, quizzical phrases delivered with impeccable timing. In contrast to the prolixity of much contemporary playing, there’s an impression of things left unsaid, or of questions posed but left unanswered. Yet there’s an unhurried certainty in evidence as well; a hard-won combination of the familiar and the enigmatic. Bobby Wellins is unique.

– Eddie Myer

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

Making The Cut Mpu 300x500px

Subcribe To Jazzwise


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 @juderogers: News about our open letter to @bbcradio3 protesting the cuts to Late Junction, Jazz Now & Music Planet: soonafter my commen…
Follow Us - @Jazzwise
@erstrecs ah, no worries - I will wait patiently - if you could add me to your mailing list though that would be gr…
Follow Us - @Jazzwise


© 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