|Ben Castle - Saxophone|
I had a wonderful view courtesy of my hosts Mike and Gail Watts, who had bagged a central table. They had discovered Castle at Nottingham's Splendour Festival, he was dressed as a matador and playing with the idiosyncratic Duke Special so they did not know quite what to expect. It is true, even in more conformist attire, he is hard to categorise as a player and person. I suspect he does not know himself, he is an excellent player and is probably having the time of his life playing and exploring the boundaries of his musical playground.
|Makoto Kuriya - piano|
He is modest and easy going, deliberately stepping out of the limelight during the performance to support others. I'm sure his generosity encourages advice from all quarters, to play this, try that, jam with me and change your style. His foundations run deep though (he was anchored by his father's sax in hand), and his strong grounding allows him to express and explore without restraint. Who else could slip a Minogue melody into proceeding while wearing his Mountie striped trousers with such dead-pan cheek. The future changes from day to day for Ben Castle, the next day was a visit to the Maida Vale studios with his piccolo and then further afield to finish an album project of Pop tunes in a 30's jazz style with two other singers.
I watched the charming lady (Sarah Hadland) opposite me, as her eyes darted in hypnotic spirals. I asked her at the interval what she thought of the performance, "I'm desperate to see what's on his chart. I can't believe there's any notes written down at all. He's so free, physical and dynamic, like the flow is more important than the direction".
Understandably he is a hard man to capture and remains a will-o'-the-wisp type player that will take many viewings to trap in my artistic jam jar.
|Arnie Somogyi - bass|
I had a particularly bad view of drummer Bence Bolygo but could hear he was travelling at a good mph, there was no chance of any Salford traffic warden giving him a parking fine for nodding-off.
Now it might look like I was falling asleep in the last 30 minutes but my body had taken an assault to its senses. The pure speed of Kuriya's playing had rendered my sketching hand exhausted and useless. Sometimes you've just got to give in to the music and listen. Shutting down all other senses....and....listen.
|Me listening |
Photo Mike Watts