Tuesday 3 December 2013

Frolicking with the Samuel Eagles Quartet

Samuel Eagles - Alto Saxophone
On Sunday 17th November 2013 the Samuel Eagles Quartet presented us with a superb performance that announced his and their arrival upon London's burgeoning Jazz stage. This was the first half of an Eagles double bill, with older brother Duncan also trotting out for the EFG London Jazz Festival. The Spice of Life and Paul Pace deserve the credit for these progressive bookings. On the first Sunday of the LJF I always bring a band of jazz lovers and newbies out with me, make a party of it, and we had a ball!

Ralph Wyld - Vibes
To many this was new material from fresh faces but I had been lucky enough to hear these tunes before in the comfort of Clown's Pocket Studio as they recorded their debut album. Eagles had grown a mane since then, which was firmly swept back and with leather padded elbows he looked the studious type. He is a quiet man who you imagine could bend in even the most feeble breeze but he is so firmly grounded, both in his music and temperament.

Fergus Ireland - Bass
Opener "Remembering Myself" moved to "The Place I Live" and we had an early glimpse of what make the SEQ such a breath of fresh air. Amidst Eagles' frenetic composition there was an explosion of calm from the vibes of Ralph Wyld, though not without some tension. It seems you can't keep drummer Eric Ford under wraps for long, for it was he who played the role of sadistic P.E. teacher to the youngsters around him, zipping up the pace with an ever increasing zeal.

Fergus Ireland ran the bass line on "We Were meant to be", which resulted in an exciting tumble as we roly polied with Eagles' hedgehog delivery. "My Instigation" was captivating because of its precise changes in pace and epitomised what is so exhilarating about this set. The music represents a joyous balance between light and dark. This is not a Ying-Yang kind of checkerboard light, more of a dabbled variety like a frolic in and out of a tree lined avenue. You long for the crisp sunlight of Wyld and Eagles when the canopy's chill seeps into you and then the calm of Ireland's Bass when you need that time to dwell.

Eric Ford - Drums

My favourite was the penultimate "Outsider", once again a tune defined by the pooling eddies of Ralph Wyld but expertly set up by Samuel Eagles and Eric Ford whose sluice gates accelerated and guided the currents of the composition. The final offering was "Next Beginning" which ended perfectly on a carefree note, with a promise of a bright future. This includes the release of their debut album and a tour that will be worth experiencing.


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