Friday, 28 September 2018

Quentin Collins - The Blue Vanguard Jazz Club, Gipsy Hill Hotel, Exeter - 27th September, 2018

Jazz and Beards

As a generally generously hirsute person, and even after a recent light trim still fully bewhiskered [also having two like-faced friends attending with me: one goateed, the other stubbled] it is a good thing Quentin Collins played such an exemplary trumpet and flugelhorn – including one most beautiful, sublime version of Lover Man – because I’ll therefore forgive him for mentioning near the beginning of his guest-spot last night at the Blue Vanguard Jazz Club how he was from East London where the gigs normally played were attended by many twats in beards.

Quentin and Craig

To be fair, he did say they also wore tweed, and I alternatively had on my psychedelic shirt beneath denim, and he was also setting a contrasting and humorous scene where playing at the BV was like going back in time by at least 40 years. As a building and internal d├ęcor, he was spot on. And to be fair once more [yes, he really is that good to secure this fulsome clemency] he was most appreciative of the full attendance, as it always is, and he’s not the first well-travelled and well-respected jazz musician to comment on the impressive welcome from The Gipsy Hill Hotel venue compared with many other and perhaps ostensibly more ‘prominent’ jazz clubs.

One final quote from Quentin to secure an absolute pardon was the observation on his further pleasure to be playing with these swinging cats that are the Craig Milverton Trio house band that includes Coach York and Al Swainger. This too is a regular comment from knowing and experienced guests – though not as aptly as Collins’ coolly jazzy vernacular – on just how tight this band is and how the extraordinary lack of rehearsal time [one hour last night] still delivers such an accomplished performance.

All together
Craig on keys and Al on bass had as ever their own exemplary solo spots – and these never cease to impress – but I’m giving the biggest shout-out [next to Collins, naturally] to Coach for his on-fire drumming. I do like his solo insertions into closing bars where last night horn and keys alternated and York interjected with both his subtleties and blasts – and there were some explosive drum ‘n’ horn detonations in unison as well.

I'm looking forward to listening to the QCBA Beauty in Quiet Places album [Quentin with saxophonist Brandon Allen] and hearing more of Collins' supersweet tone as well as dynamic, virtuoso runs.

Quentin's trumpet trills visualised
[Opening pic from stubbled Marti, next three from goateed Timbo, final from a shaking Some Awe]

1 comment:

  1. These clean shaven types who snipe at the wat people look and dress have forgotten the old be-bop proverb: “ He who listens to what musicians wear listens with cloth ears”. But you’re right - another drinker of a gig. Well done Blue Vanguard