Off Minor

Musings of a Jazz geek

Charles Gayle / William Parker / Mark Sanders, at the Red Rose 21/9/07

Posted September 23, 2007

Charles Gayle and Mark Sanders

Back in Your Town, at the Red Rose, 21/9/07 » Charles Gayle (alto sax, piano), William Parker (bass), Mark Sanders (drums) « »

The London leg of this Charles Gayle tour, incorporated into this month’s Back in Your Town at the Red Rose, Finsbury Park. Rod at wordsandmusic has already posted a pretty excellent review of Monday’s Liverpool gig, Mapsadaisical an equally nice one re: this London session… So, sorry if this is a bit derivative and pointless…

These Back in Your Town nights are really pretty awesome; for their cheapness (of entry) and general back-waterness (working men’s club vibe), Wales/Coxon manage to pack a pretty decent hit rate; last year’s Sunny Murray concert, this year’s Bruise gig*, like, most of my favourite Free Jazz is here.

The night kicked off with a pretty slick Steve Beresford / Neil Metcalfe, piano / flute duet… Beresford constantly moving, surprising, engaging; Metcalfe (who I don’t think I’ve heard before) getting pretty strong with cool lines and immediate interaction with Beresford’s mixture of chopping styles. Studious and reflective…

When, after the interval, the Gayle group took to the stage, all things changed. Gayle himself: tall and thin, dressed in black with an iconic white plastic alto sax, bursting out from the back of the stage with a flurry of notes and sounds, a bolt out of the blue (even for the rest of the band, with the drummer, Mark Sanders, still in the midst of thanking tour organisers Birmingham Jazz). Caught somewhat off-guard, drums and bass whipped round into action, creating an instant pounding flurry of scattering notes and beats. Sanders so fast and powerful over his kit, kicking out patterns that would constantly shift and move. William Parker just an excellent virtuosity, hard to follow exactly what he was doing, his body quite still and patient but his arms and hands a casual flurry creating all sorts of intricate patterns that I could hardly follow… (It was pretty incredible, walking in to the Red Rose and seeing Parker lurking outside the gents toilets, this being the same guy I’d seen as a miniscule dot on stage with the Taylor/Braxton unit a few months ago, for about seven times the ticket price.) Gayle himself was blisteringly good; a kind of cross between the flurries of Charlie Parker, and the silghtly warped, weird freedom of Ornette Coleman. Splitting onto piano for a good section of the night: an almost naive pounding style to start, but then onto something more vocal (yes, even quoting the theme from Coltrane’s Naima).

Recorded for broadcast on Jazz on 3, supposedly due for the night of October 5th… get your tapes ready!…

William Parker (Charles Gayle Trio) Charles Gayle + Mark Sanders Charles Gayle

These are mine, but mapsadaisical and andynew both have more, better pics, on flickr.

* Bruise back next month, Back in Your Town October 18th. Yay!