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Roy's Review: ZZBop Trio with Paul Sawtell on vibes
By: Roy Stevens - Mon, Dec 6, 2010
Most Midlands jazz enthusiasts will agree that jazz pianist Paul Sawtell deserves much wider recognition. This formidable musician has, over many years, built up a sterling reputation with his own trio Jazz Fantastique and many appearances with other fine bands including bassist Tom Hill's Straitjackets.
Some eighteen months ago Paul decided to take up the vibraphone and on Sunday evening at the Chapel at No.1, Shakespeare Street he made his debut on vibes with Tom Hill's trio ZZbop. I am sure that quite a number of the capacity audience turned up out of sheer curiosity and with some trepidation. The fears were quickly dispelled as, after easing into two ballad numbers for starters, Paul then launched himself into Gillespie's "Night in Tunisia" with such confidence and abandon that it was quite clear that the 'L' plates had come off.
Craig Milverton on piano and Nick Millward on drums completed this outstanding quartet and ensured, along with Tom Hill, that Paul was not hogging the limelight throughout the evening as they contributed with some fine improvised solo work. A wide repertoire of works from John Lewis, Milt Jackson and Miles Davis with some bluesy vocals from Tom Hill was just what the appreciative audience wanted and they went away happy that they had seen a new star to savour on the vibes front.
A jazz pianist in the audience remarked as he left, "I cannot believe he's been playing vibes for only eighteen months. He is so outstanding that he makes me sick with envy."
Next Sunday Stratford Jazz at the Chapel at No.1, Shakespeare Street presents the Midlands leading jazz songstress when Sara Colman brings her quintet. Her brother Andrew will be on the front line on trumpet and a capacity audience is anticipated for this popular band. The performance commences at 8pm and a charge of £8 will be made at the door. For more info visit www.stratfordjazz.org.uk.
Freshly Updated: Monday, 17 January, 2011
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