(606 Club, February 3rd 2010, review by Luke Pinkstone)
The launch gig for John Turville Trio ’s new album Midas (F-Ire label) juxtaposed his original compositions with well-chosen standards. The trio traversed diverse and distinct musical influences, and brought them all energetically to life. The set included a Radiohead cover, a tribute to Bill Evans and two Nick Drake compositions. That’s quite a range, but they all worked well.
First Flight, the opening track on the album, proved a strong opener. John Turville ’s well thought-out introductory improvisation unfolded with a melodious charm and built gradually into a furious blur. He had strong support from Chris Hill (bass) and Ben Reynolds (drums) who watched him closely, intuitively following the changes in both texture and in mood. With angular rhythmic figures and funky unison bursts, this first number gave the audience an insight of what to expect from this versatile trio. and set the proverbial ‘bar’ for the rest of the night high. But results continued to match expectations
The audience was relatively sparse to begin with, but the gradual flow of latecomers further lifted an already vibrant atmosphere and gave the room an extra energy for the band to feed from.
Their second track Waltz For Bill Evans resembled Evans’ own Waltz for Debby and began with undisturbed serene solo piano before settling into a light swing. Chris Hill’s quick-fingered bass solo scaled the full range of the instrument, matching Turville’s technical precision and melodic thoughtfulness. For me a highlight was a rendition of Nick Drake’s composition and the album’s title track, Midas.
Vocalist Brigitte Beraha joined the trio for the wordless ballad. Her silky voice immediately created a sense of tranquility and solitude that hung in the air, and left the audience in awe.
The trio finished with Hand Maid, which started with slow, steady dissonance and cross rhythms, and built into a cocktail of quirky lyrical melodies, rhythmic agility and intuitive interplay.