Nick Smart Trio, Cafe Posk Saturday 17 Nov - London Jazz Festival

Trumpeter Nick Smart unveiled his latest project, a contemporary homage to Louis Armstrong, at the Posk jazz bar in West London’s Polish cultural centre as part of the London Jazz Festival. Featuring Paul Clarvis on drums and Hans Koller on Fender Rhodes the trio performed interesting yet very candid interpretations of Armstrong’s compositions and other tunes associated with the legend. The group opened with a buoyant rendition of the Hot 5’s classic ‘Muskat Ramble’ before plunging into Duke Ellington’s slow blues ‘Azalea’. Nick Smart Trio, Cafe Posk Saturday 17 Nov - London Jazz Festival
Lester Bowie’s ‘For Louis’ featured a rousing trumpet and drums duet that built to a heightened frenzy before resolving with Koller’s dramatic entrance on Rhodes. ‘My Man’s Gone Now’, from Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald’s recording of Gershwin’s ‘Porgy and Bess’, was given perhaps the most adventurous interpretation, with the leader spewing long wailing lines over an unsettling Latin feel brewed by Clarvis. The seasoned drummer constantly fed his band mates with energetic punctuations and shrewd use of space, his interplay with Koller a real highlight, particularly in moments where the leader happily sat out, nodding and smiling in appreciation as his companions jostled.

Smart’s playing too was strong and lyrical, his soloing on ballads and slower blues numbers a real feature. In his own composition ‘Russian Lullaby’, an aching ballad remembering the Russian-Jewish immigrant family who cared for Armstrong as a boy, the trumpeter blew with an unreserved intimacy openly revealing the importance of Armstrong on his own musical vision. Performed with a natural affinity and a veritable collective energy, the trio’s adaptations were fresh and innovative yet, thankfully, never strayed too far from the joyous simplicity of Armstrong’s music.

Michael Caratti


The Write Stuff

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

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

@bakedtapes @jazzfm @MusicClerk Or what about Hamsun's Hunger scored by Nils Økland Band or 1982? @HUBROMUSIC… https://t.co/mCq4hvk06y
Follow Us - @Jazzwise
@RecCollMag @Unitopiaband Wow, that sleeve!
Follow Us - @Jazzwise

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