Review and photo by Lance Liddle from Bebop Spoken Here, 5 March 2016
Jude Murphy (vcl/bs gtr/fl); Dave Weisser (cor/vcl); Gordon Brown (alt); John Haylock (bar); Lionel Hehir (gtr); Nigel Robson (pno/tmb); Stu Holiday (dms).
Any venture involving Dave Weisser has got to be worth checking out – particularly when it also features his soulmate, the multi-talented Jude Murphy. Indeed, it was Jude who got the ball rolling with a gravelly, unaccompanied, flute blast before moving on to bass guitar as the rest of the band joined in.
It was a familiar sounding jazz-rock number that set the pattern of the evening. Nostalgia in Times Square followed. The Mingus classic was taken at quite a jaunty pace with solos all round.
The front line of cornet, alto, baritone and occasionally trombone made for a mini big band sound that delighted the well-attended room.
Both Jude and Dave had vocals with Jude pulling an old Nellie Lutcher classic out of the bag – Fine Brown Frame – and Dave breathing new life into Annie Ross’ Twisted. With Mother’s Day in the offing, Song For my Father helped to redress the balance and Blues in the Closet swung along nicely.
Dave sang Work Song and Jude gave us Black Velvet and Peyroux’s Don’t Wait Too Long. The set closed with Pick up the Pieces – a number associated with the Average White Band. It had been an interesting start to the band’s first gig.
Glasses charged, the second set opened with Street Life. I guess sound levels had been adjusted for this was a crisper, better balanced, ensemble.
Jude announced Senor Blues as her personal Mount Everest with no less the six flats to cope with! And did she cope? Let’s just say that her name now stands alongside that of Sir Edmund Hillary!
My Little Suede Shoes had Gordon shaking a shaker before passing it on to an enthusiastic member of the audience.
This was a fun evening! When he wasn’t shaking, Gordon blew some fine mainstream alto and John Haylock was in Mulligan mode on bari. Robson alternated between delicate piano and boisterous trombone, Jude, along with veteran rockers Hehir and Holiday, kept things solid. Dave, needless to say, blew cornet in his own inimitable style, effortlessly playing the charts without any charts!
And so it went on, the band getting tighter (music-wise) by the minute with numbers by BB King and John Schofield among others. The well-deserved encore was Mustang Sally.
In my head I was still singing “Ride Sally Ride” as I boarded the 22 bus towards Central Station.