Alan Skidmore (saxophone), Steve Melling (piano), Ian Palmer (drums), Mick Coady (bass)
Really excellent gig tonight by Alan Skidmore and, what is apparently, his current working quartet. Although Skidmore is well-known as a strong follower of everything Coltrane, tonights gig was particularly heavy (actually, full) of Trane compositions (and arrangements) in a gesture to celebrate what would have been JC’s 80th birthday, last Saturday.
This is the second time I’ve been able to see Skidmore (the first time was also in Coventry), but he’d managed to bring a much better band with him, this time. Actually, a really phenomenal band… Skidmore was on fire throughout… The pianist was able to pull the lever and drop into McCoy Tyner mode as and when required… However, I was totally blown away by Ian Palmer, who is just a truly magnificent drummer. ‘Pulled out a staggering drum solo somewhere towards the end of the first set (a proper extended solo, with the band letting him carry on until he was begging them to come back)… It was probably the best single drum solo that I’ve ever witnessed, just in terms of shear power, fluidity, and also originality and a fantastic sense of lyricism… Rather than just kicking up some great rhythms, everything seemed to be going somewhere with definite purpose. I mean, it’s usual for me to come away from most gigs and decide that that respective drummer is now my best drummer in the world, but this guy Palmer was really something of a surprise!