(Kings Place, March 19th 2011, in The Base series, Review and photos by Roger Thomas)
Well, on Saturday at Kings Place, it was all about Dune Music . Two of its proteges were being featured, namely Peter Edwards and his Trio followed by Binker Golding with his Quartet.
Kings Place billed the event as “Nu Beginnings,” and although these two both missed the gestating Teen Warriors phase they have clearly benefited from the Tomorrow’s Warriors nurturing and their ethos of ‘from the cradle to the stage’.
It’s Peter Edwards – piano that first takes the stage featuring Max Luthert – bass and Saleem Raman – drums. They hit us with an Edwards composition Byron’s Blues. No formal introduction, but I guess that was to affirm that they understand and acknowledge traditional things.
By the third song things had warmed up for Peter to now borrow from a distant Caribbean heritage another original composition, Mas Calypso. You can hear the transposition of the piano into steel pans with percussive octave lines creating a happy carnival atmosphere with Max providing a bumptious swing and Saleem the joyous skip. Oh yes, there is a lot of jigging in seats now!
As if to chastise us for shaking our bodies so much, Peter switches the mood from the vibrant and sunny to an abrupt and sombre Dark Sunshine. The thought-provoking piano lines at one stage gives way to a short slightly melancholy bass solo complimented by some light stick work from Saleem. Such was the mood it immediately brought to thought—for me at least—realisation of all the crazy things happening around the world at this moment. Great crowd control Peter. Better watch out that you’re not drafted to perform these duties for the State (smile).
Peters mastery of moods continues with the more upbeat Safe And Sound which in itself was a sort of microcosm of moods as piano pulses out phrases that help launch Max and Saleem to some great crescendos and subtle moments of release.
We are again brought back to ground level by a fresh interpretation of Body And Soul which I was hoping would be on the CD (The Peter Edwards Trio) that was on sale in the foyer but alas not—well it is an EP and not a full album after all. Let’s hope one is in the pipeline, from this performance I reckon it would be good listening.
The second half of the evening started unannounced with Binker Golding and his Quartet walking calmly onto the stage. With Rick Simpson – piano, Dave Hamblett – drums and Pete Randall – bass taking their places. They were greeted with a warm applause as Binker counted off Mr. KK an original composition dedicated to the late Kenny Kirkland. This energetic piece showed how they all gelled as a communicative unit.
With everyone settle in by the third song we were treated to a rendition of Ellington’s Don’t Mean A Thing followed, by again delving deeper into the old masters catalogue, a most adventurous arrangement of Beethoven’s Sonata no. 30 Opus 109. I’m not 100% sure if this was a Binker Golding arrangement, but if it is then hats off to you mate. This adaptation to a jazz setting showed great ingenuity, I’m sure Ludwig would have approved.
Now I’m beginning to think there might be a little conspiracy going on in the Dune camp to jolt the audience as much as possible. A if to wake us from the reverie of Opus109, the stark contrast of Blind Man Stomp takes us along a path with Binker playing a flurry of 4th intervals on sax where you can imagine the possible staggering of a blind man on a dance floor with some excellent interplay between Dave Hamblett and Pete Randall.
Still with foot on the gas, Maenads—another Golding composition—launches us into the mythological world of Dionysus and his voracious groupies. With some Coltranesque ‘sheets of sound’ coming from Binker complemented by the high energy vamps of Rick Simpson and occasional section of just sax and drums debaucherous scenes and bacchanal fill my mind at which point. I checked for all the exit signs as looking around it seemed to me that the audience were ripe and ready for some bacchanalia, more than I can handle in one night.
Goodness me Binker, what on earth were you thinking of when you composed that little ditty!!
Well at least he did spare a thought for the state of the audience by finishing off the set with a very calming rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water, just what was needed to help us all recover from the previous frolic.
It was an excellent night all round. It was full of surprises and drama which has left me thinking less in terms of Tomorrow’s Warriors but in view of the writing and arrangement abilities displayed I see more possibilities of a Tomorrow’s Leaders.