Music publisher Neal Richardson has sent in a review of a CD he’s been listening to constantly for the past few months.
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And below that is an interesting gig by James’ group. First at St Martin in the Fields on July 2nd, with the same programme at Hever Castle in Kent on July 4th.
James Pearson Trio CD Swing the Club (Diving Duck Records)
James Pearson ‘s trio, with Chris Dagley on drums and bassist Sam Burgess have been the house band at Ronnie Scott’s for 3 years. They display both the intimate musical chemistry which results from the experience of such regular collaboration, and enormous mutual trust, enabling them to push the improvising further and further.
The CD Swing The Club was recorded live, in situ, exactly where it should have been: on the stand at Ronnie Scott’s. The band is recorded close-miked, the sound qualitu is consistently excellent, producer Pete North has done a great job.
This CD has been played constantly in my car for the last 6 months. It’s always inspirational to witness something done exceptionally well, ennobled with both the genius and full gamut of emotion that only an artist at the top of their game can portray… And listening to James Pearson’s Trio on these live tracks is to get as close to being there and witnessing it as is possible. If you have enjoyed in the flesh James’ dazzling playing – on fire one minute and on ice the next , driving hard, yet sensitive – then you’ll know what I’m talking about…
If forced to pick a favourite track, it would probably be Ray Noble’s The Very Thought of You… a very special song to me personally anyway (I was going to record it myself next year but will now have to re-consider!)… a re-harmonised rubato intro/verse to satisfy the brain, then a purely sublime gentle swing right “in the pocket” on the tune again, to satisfy the soul.
I love this man’s playing – as exuberant, intense and colourful as he is in person – and I defy anyone to listen through these gorgeous tracks and not to find that life feels just a little better.
The St. Martin in-the- Fields gig on July 2nd is called American Encounters, with some big works: Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and An American in Paris, Escualo by Piazzola, an Ellington fantasy, a Bernstein overture and standards by Porter, Mercer and Rogers and Hart.
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