Tuesday, November 17, 2020

John Rae trio at Wellington Jazz Club

Wellington Jazz Club
It's (very) rare that I get along to a Wellington Jazz Club gig, now that I'm in the city I might get to more, but often the programing just  doesn't run with my taste. This past Sunday was an exception so I popped down to Meow to check out the John Rae trio - John Rae (drums) Lucien Johnson (tenor/soprano sax) and Patrick Bleakley (bass). A pretty decent crowd turned out - probably about 50 - and I had the impression that the vast majority were club members.

There was a great mix of tunes across the two sets from Scott Joplin through to Steve Lacy plus a couple of originals - Lucien's "Les Oiseaux d'Amour" (from The Troubles first album) and John's "Eastern Promises" (part of The Troubles current repertoire). And even with all that variety the two sets had plenty of continuity. Perhaps my favourites were the ballads "Chelsea Bridge" and "My Ship" - for whatever reason they seemed to hit the spot on a Sunday evening. It was nice hearing "Eastern Promises" outside of the larger set up of The Troubles, Lucien's tone on soprano is crisp and focused (and he's pretty fleet-fingered on it too). John was his usual high energy self and Patrick underpinned everything with some very nice lines. Rae and Bleakley are a fine rhythm section pairing. They've been playing together for over a decade (since the formation of The Troubles) and it comes through in their playing. And it was nice too hear them in a trio setting, which I can't recall having heard before. If I did it was a long time ago and hopefully it won't be so long until the next time.

new zealand jazz

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