Tim Thornton: New Kid album launch at Pizza Express Dean St

Grant Windsor, Dave O’Higgins, Tim Thornton, Chris Draper

Tim Thornton – New Kid album launch
(Pizza Express Dean St, 31st July 2012. Review by Rob Edgar)

Bassist Tim Thornton launched his debut CD as leader New Kid at Pizza Express last night. Clubs are suffering from the pre-Olympic warnings about traffic chaos, but there was nonetheless a healthy turn-out of loyal supporters and fans.

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Thornton is a player with a strong technique who uses the range of the bass well, and is capable of great depth, emotion and lyricism. He and drummer Chris Draper have been friends and musical partners since the age of fourteen. Their ability to predict and to react to every subtle nuance and shade that the other makes was something quite remarkable, and to watch and listen to their interaction was a pleasure in itself.

It is always fascinating to note what a difference the addition of a different player can make. In Chris Parker’s review of the CD for LondonJazz, he uses the word “unshowy”. The addition into the mix of Grant Windsor on piano left a very different impression. Windsor was thoroughly entertaining throughout. The Australian pianist was flamboyant and humorous and energy-giving during the entire gig. Particularly in gospel tunes, he played with real heart.

What emerged was a picture of four very different personalities, playing ever changing and varied material; from the soundscape that was Bell Common Tunnel to his own grooving original compositions. At one point they played a re-working of East the Moon West of the SunThornton has re imagined it entirely, and in his hands, the head sounded angular and wonderfully spasmodic, whilst the solos were relaxed and flowing.

Dave O’Higgins was on saxophone; a veteran of the UK jazz scene (who also was instrumental in the recording of the album itself), Dave is an incredibly sensitive player who played exactly what was needed, nothing more – nothing less.

A highly entertaining night, enjoyed by all. This album launch marks a new stage in Tim Thornton’s career, which will definitely be one to watch.

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