David Gordon Trio
(606 Club, 18th January 2017. Review by Brian Blain)
A really good turnout on a dismal January night last week at the 606 to hear one of our most brilliant pianists, David Gordon with bassist Alec Dankworth and drummer Paul Cavaciuti presenting Gordon’s frequently witty tribute to the Russian composer Alexander Scriabin on the centenary of his death in 1915, “Alexander Scriabin’s Ragtime Band”, in a programme not only steeped in the music of early jazz and Ragtime, but also in the elegant, traditional rhythms of the South American continent, danzon, choro and tango.
It wasn’t all Scriabin however. A piece inspired by Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 4, Brandy For Four, despite the appeal of the old Master to musicians of the thirties and forties to ‘swing’ more than any other clasical writer, rapidly morphed into a jazz samba feel that really flew, whipping up excitement all round the room: wonderful.
Every now and again Gordon produced lines on a melodica, a small wind keyboard instrument that suggests the French love of accordion and tango,(he had just returned from a big Tango Festival in Finland) but on Nuances a wacky bip bip bop novelty number all three launched into their vocal roles with a huge sense of enjoyment and sheer fun that broke up the reflective mood of various Etudes beautifully.
David Gordon’s piano technique is absolutely outstanding – he has another highly respected life as harpsichord and piano soloist- but it was the sheer togetherness of the Trio that was just as important,displaying a grasp of dynamics and tempo changes such as one rarely encounters on jazz gigs.
The way Dankworth would ‘walk’ on the more direct numbers or converse with Gordon’s piano lines on the more reflective etudes, with Cavaciuti matching every variation in sound level and time change exhilarating and thoughtful, was music making of a truly high level. Festival organisers both classical and jazz should be grabbing these guys with both hands.