Presented by Rob Pippan Productions.
Reviewed February 18th.
This gig was one of the big successes of the 2017 Fringe, selling out, and taking both the band and Rob Pippan, by surprise. Pippan has taken a punt in reprising this performance and the punt has paid off.
Miles Davis’s 1959 album Kind of Blue was a collaboration with pianist Bill Evans, and is still one of the top-selling jazz albums of all time. Performing the whole album is the jazz equivalent of a rock band doing the whole of Houses of the Holy. You can’t do this and not be very, very good.
Which they were!
2018 saw essentially the same line-up as last year: Musical Director and bassist, Shaun Duncan; Tom Pulford on alto sax; John McDermott on drums; Dave McEvoy on piano; and once again channeling the great man himself. trumpeter Chris Weber. The only change was on sax, with David Theak being replaced by Jason McMahon. These are all top-notch musicians, but special mention to McDermott for some sultry brush-work a la Jimmy Cobb, Weber for capturing Davis’s honeyed tone, and McEvoy for giving some good Evans on keys (although he needed a cigarette hanging out of his mouth to complete the look!)
The set began with three earlier Davis recordings: Love for Sale, Milestones and Green Dolphin Street. All played superbly with some great solos from most of the players. They then settled into the main delight of the night: the whole of Kind of Blue. In between each number, we heard short audio clips of Davis and the band, talking in the studio, during the recording sessions. This was a classy touch, which added to the atmos nicely. Throughout the gig there were also photos of Davis et al flashed up on the back screen.
Sadly, the boys didn’t come out for an encore, but the audience more than got their money’s worth.
With a bit of luck the boys might do Birth of the Cool next…
Venue: The German Club
Duration: 90 minutes
Check out the German Club‘s site here.