Tuesday 14 May 2013

Renato D'Aiello & Ed Richardson - Jazz tortoise and hare

Renato D'Aiello - Saxophone
We were held expertly in the hands of both old and young lovers last Thursday (9/5/2013) at Twickenham Jazz Club, on a night when Spring had deserted us once again, and Winter's icy tendrils caught at our exposed necks and thinning heads.
The main draw of the night, Renato D'Aiello wasn't taking any such chances. He arrived on stage in scarf, jacket and flat cap. Although his scarf was quickly removed his neck stayed firmly hidden because of his hunched playing style. He was the tortoise who came out of hibernation a week too early so his head receded constantly into his shoulders and we only caught glimpses of his twinkling blue eyes underneath his cloth cap. His playing though was as warm as ever and he knew how to caress us like an experienced lover. He still has many suitors and his regular nights at Ronnie Scott's upstairs bar have resulted in a well deserved night downstairs on the 24th July, the same day coincidentally as his next recording.

Nicola Muresu - Bass

The crowd tonight at TJC were the die-hards, the discerners and jazz lovers from the local suburban sprawl. Sometimes an audience who are lighter in numbers can be pulled together in an intimate embrace by the performers, but this wasn't enough for the flirtatious Nicola Muresu who held his Bass like it was a naked Monica Bellucci. During the fourth tune of the evening 'I Wish', Muresu held his muse so close he planted a lingering kiss on her long neck.

Artie Zaitz - Guitar
The musicians were a split between the established and rising stars. The two young strutting bucks were Artie Zaitz (guitar) and Ed Richardson (drums). Zaitz is an introverted performer, often with head held against chest while he played with speed and agility. The Twickenham Jazz Club is getting a reputation for its guitar loving audience and Zaitz was a crowd pleaser on more than one occasion.

The performer who pleased me most was tonight's drummer Ed Richardson. A talent I had first experienced during my Bull's Head Residency in 2011 when he played with a young Callum Au ensemble. Then, as now, he was a dream to draw, with distinctive character and talent, he became a bestseller (with Tom White) at my subsequent exhibition.

Ed Richardson - Drums
Tonight he excelled and it is no surprise he has received a Rising Star nomination at this year's British Jazz Awards. It is his overall style that excites an artist like myself, for as you know I do not write/view this blog from a purely musical bent but a creative perspective. Dismiss me as trivial but let us not forget that a live performance is both what we hear and see, and quite possibly feel.
Richardson taps into the most 1950's of trends with his crisp white shirt, dark tie, heavy black-rimmed glasses and in moments of leisure, his tailored Italian quilted coat.

Kelvin Christiane - Sax & Flute
Although technically still at the Royal Academy he has cut all his milk teeth and his incisors are firmly lodged in London's Jazz underbelly. A member of Ronnie Scott's Big Band and appearing on Callum Au's Big Band debut CD 'Something's Coming' he sees this genre as part of his future. He told me,
"I'd like to front my own Big Band project, do it how it should be done."
It seems big is the word, rumour has it he is being chased by some of pop's most popular names. I imagine though he will still have his feet planted in Jazz's earthiest soil as his influences include Jeff Hamilton, Mel Lewis, Alvin Stoller and more importantly his father.

Antony Roberts - Sketching
Kelvin Christiane joined the quartet for two numbers, bookending the second set, and hostess Lesley Christiane was beautiful in turquoise whilst in a Jobim mood on 'Once I Loved'. I sketched side by side with artist Antony Roberts who I'd recently worked with on FreedBook and TJC Dude Lister initiated him into the fellowship by teaching him to drink beer with peanuts in.

 My tastes though were more Jazz related and like Dracula I sated myself on young blood. Lets hope it can rejuvenate me in time for this week's Big Band (16/5/2013) because I'll need all my energy to draw that rowdy rabble.


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