|Tim Garland Quartet
L-R: Asaf Sirkis, Ant Law, Tim Garland, Jason Rebello
Photo courtesy of Edition Records
Tim Garland Quartet One
(King’s Place, Saturday 18th June. Review by Mike Collins)
The stick clicking count-in from Asaf Sirkis to Prototype, underlined the dedication to Bill Bruford Tim Garland had just offered. The mazy riff, doubled by a Rhodes like sound from Jason Rebello’s keyboard over Sirkis’ meaty backbeat had head’s nodding and feet tapping in a sold out Hall Two at King’s Place. After Garland’s fiery solo, Ant Law allowed a few distorting chords to ring from his eight string guitar before winding up a burning solo. It was rousing finale after two pulsating sets at King’s Place that had feature a sprinkling of numbers from Garland’s recent release, the jazz rock flavoured One.
The quartet are in the middle of a series of gigs promoting the album, but referenced plenty of Garland’s other ports of call in a now nearly thirty-year career. Jason Rebello has been a friend and occasional collaborator for much of that time and he was on blistering form. Early in the first set Colours of Night slipped into a liquid, rocky groove, electric keys augmenting the airy phrases from the sax – it could plausibly have come from a Weather Report album had we not known it was Garland original. Rebello’s solo built phrase upon phrase with rhythmic propulsion that was electrifying. He switched to piano for Windows and did it again, a thrilling climax to the galloping, latin-tinged Chick Corea piece. Tyne Song, amidst the excitement and grooves, provided one of the most compelling passages of the evening. Originally appearing on Garland’s Songs to the North Sky album, recorded with an orchestra, its haunting call-like and balladic theme gave way to a free-er exchange between Garland and Rebello, the saxophone’s spiralling, hooting phrases first shadowed and then led by melodic and harmonic invention from the piano; a moment of quiet magic. Sama’i for Peace had them careening on a surge of rhythm as Sirkis seemed just to exhale a groove, grinning with delight as he caught inflections and swerves from each of the soloists. The second set swept us towards that finale with more selections from the album and a quieter moment with the delicately lilting Rosa Ballerina.
Garland was constantly inventive, his by turns intimate, then rasping growling sound occasionally churned up with some electronics, always seemed to imbue phrases with a song like quality and a measured intensity. The bass-less format and switches between acoustic and more electric balance for the sound, were a challenge albeit largely heroically met by the engineers, but it does give this band a distinctive sound alongside the irresistible force of their playing. A scintillating evening and a band to catch if you can. Swanage and Manchester festivals are the next opportunities.