Wednesday 1 October 2014

Alex Garnett & Brandon Allen Quartet

Alex Garnett - Tenor Saxophone
Last Thursday (25/09/2014) at the Twickenham Jazz Club was more about the double act of tenor saxophonists Alex Garnett and Brandon Allen than anything else. Yes, they were capably supported, but this was a case of the duo employing the Zulu 'Horns of the Buffalo' offense to break our post-summer malaise to smithereens.

Brandon Allen - Tenor Saxophone
I have admired Garnett since seeing him a year ago at the Whirlwind Festival and his charm, then as well as now is earthy and real. It was not lost on the Twickenham faithful either, TJC webmaster Lister Park commented "there's a certain understated arrogance behind the 'cheeky chappy' persona". The stomping Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis' tune 'Foxy' epitomises Garnett's mixture of punch and drawl. While Brandon Allen whipped us up, chopping hard, knee knocking and straining just on the end of his lyrical leash it was Alex Garnett that egged him on. More than naughty schoolboys they were men with a passion to take risks.

David Ingamells
Alex Garnett has a new album on the way from his Bunch of Five crew (inc. Tim Armacost, Liam Noble, Mike Janisch, and James Maddren) called Andromeda. I can confirm that this isn't a homage to the Greek beauty who was chained naked to a rock to sate a monster appetite but the galaxy which is 2.5 million light years from earth. A galaxy which is approaching us at 68 miles a second and is equal in force to the bullish Alex Garnett.

Pete Whittaker - Organ
Pete Whittaker gave us more of what we had been waiting for. Squelching our feet in the oozing cool of Illionis Jacquet's 'Embryo', it even resulted in some spontaneous hip action from Messrs Garnett & Allen. Consistently it was Brandon Allen which caught the eye. A rich and expressive solo on Billy May's 'Somewhere in the night' was backed up by an exuberant and hard-hitting whack on the aforementioned 'Embryo'.

Kelvin Christiane
Tenor Saxophone
In the gloom I grabbed a quick black & white sketch of David Ingamells and Kelvin Christiane. The latter played angry and mean, as though he had something to get off his chest. The three tenors on the stage were faster and more furious than their operatic counterparts. Although this may not be much of a compliment, despite Placido Domingo been known as Pitbull on the classical concert circuit.


Next up at Twickenham Jazz Club 7th October - Kelvin Christiane Big Band, 16th October - Mikhaly Borbely (Hungarian Saxophonist) with the excellent Mike Gorman Trio, 30th October -Sarah Moule.

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