Jay Phelps Quartet – Live At The Cockpit
(Streamed as part of EFG London Jazz Festival, 14 November 2020. Review by Patrick Hadfield)
The latest record from Jay Phelps is Live At The Cockpit, released a couple of months ago, and this video was shot at the same show in April 2018 with Rick Simpson, Will Glaser and Ferg Ireland joining Phelps on piano, drums and bass respectively. Then there are the other creatives too – the filmakers Carl and Chris from Muphovi – who bring the show to life. And there is one element that is unfortunately absent from the wealth of livestreams available today – the presence of a very live audience. The Cockpit is a theatre-in-the round, and as, the cameras pan from one musician to another, there are glimpses of the concertgoers.
As well as playing trumpet, Phelps sings on a couple of tunes – Everybody’s Ethnic (a timely, pre-BLM reminder, that it’s all too easy to fall into casual racism) and Angel, which starts slowly but the end the band are powering out; but it’s on the trumpet that he really shines with both technique and emotion.
The band really hit a groove on some tracks, particularly Spread, a cover of an OutKast song, maintaining the tradition of making jazz standards out of pop songs, and the finale of Angel, as well as contributing some excellent solos throughout.
LINK: The video was produced by Collage Arts/ Karamel and is available on YouTube at least until the end of the EFG London Jazz Festival.