Monika Jakubowska’s photos here capture the mood of an evening at Pizza Express Dean Street. The quiet appreciative buzz of a full house, increasingly drawn in to the ebb and flow of music which is being created on the spot and in the moment. For us. No tricks, no hiding away, just three musicians bring their hard-learnt craft and their good humour to an audience gathered immediately in front of them.
Pianist Marc Copland allows stories to unfold gently, but their are also those peaks, ecstatic moments. Why would one want to watch and hear music from further away when it can be seen at these close quarters?
There was one table close by that was occupied by three pianists who were mirroring Copland’s expressions with the occasional dropping jaw, as he landed an unexpected harmony.
Copland’s partners in this wonderful collaboration were one of the great bassists Drew Gress who always combines positivity, presence of sound and a sense of direction in what he does with an astonishing sensitivity for level, particularly in a contemplative tune like My Foolish Heart, forever associated with Bill Evans.
The drummer due to have played on this European tour was regular trio member Joey Baron. He was suddenly taken ill, and the dates were shared between Jeff Williams, Dre Pallemaerts and – here in London – the regular drummer of the Pablo Held Trio, Jonas Burgwinkel. The attentiveness, the empathy, the interplay, the freedom of these three players made for a special evening.
And this last picture is the one which really resonates. Monika Jakubowska loves to dare to get close, and to see if she can find the essence of what musicians are truly about. One might caption this last picture “quiet concentratrion”, but it is unnecessary. The picture speaks for itself.