Greg Cordez Quintet bustle up at Bristol’s Wardrobe Theatre

The backstory: having written the music during a personally difficult year Bristol-based bass player Greg Cordez decided to recruit some of his favourite New York musicians to record it over there. The inevitable economic constraints, however, only allowed a single day for the project. The resulting album, Last Things Last, is a fine set of tunes in Greg's lyrical contemporary style, with notable soloing from guitarist Steve Cardenas. It remained to be seen, however, how his regular Quintet would develop the material live.

The gig: a capacity audience with a sizeable presence of younger people reflected the popularity of both Cordez as a college tutor and his promising support act Harvey Causon (a tutee). Shifting between electronica and indie-rock arrangements the three-piece band's short set of tightly constructed songs' repetitions and broken vocal textures recalled James Blake and others.

Cordez's own set warmed up with a couple of older tracks before tackling 'Low Winter Sun', a tune written the night before that NY recording session. The empathetic brass pairing of Get The Blessing's Pete Judge (trumpet/flugelhorn) and Jake McMurchie (tenor sax) captured the sense of nervous anticipation, their ambivalent dialogue progressing over a deceptively relaxed rhythm. By contrast, post-rocker 'Cherry V Des Moines' came from a more confident place, with McMurchie's increasingly rough-edged exposition matched by explosive drumming outbursts from Matt Brown. Steve Banks' careful solo guitar introduction to 'Last Things Last' evoked a plaintive Metheny-esque lyricism in a simmering piece whose haunting flugelhorn elegy felt like an unspoken tribute to Hugh Masakela.

The emotional richness of the new music was well nurtured in the ensemble playing, with Greg's own understated contribution emphasising his preference for keeping things together while leaving space for others. By the time they reached 'Figlock''s feature solo, with Steve Banks wandering through the psychedelic end of Bill Frisell territory, the bassist's continuing development as an astute composer was more than evident, firmly underlined by the strength and consistency of his accomplices.

Story and photo Tony Benjamin

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


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

In the Round is an annual series of intimate performances at the @RoundhouseLDN that sees the venue transformed wit… https://t.co/aakTUMvohk
Follow Us - @Jazzwise
Mehldau Marvels At Jazztopad https://t.co/5dh463wBww @Jazztopad @bradmehldau @NonesuchRecords @EspeSpalding… https://t.co/YN3S9PBGRJ
Follow Us - @Jazzwise

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