Wednesday 17 February 2010

George Garzone: Pizza Express London, Dean Street, 16th February

Tenor saxophonist George Garzone was making a rare appearance in London. George is know primarily as an influential teacher (Mark Turner, Joshua Redman) with a heavyweight conceptual approach - The Triadic Chromatic Approach. That said, the performance was anything but academic. With a tone straight out of Coltrane George played with real intensity, spurring on his rhythm section of powerhouse drummer Pete Zimmer (US based) and muscular US bass player Michael Janisch (London based) towards jazz mayhem. In the photo (we were sitting by the drums) you can see how he leans into the rhythm section as the solo increases in intensity - at one point his arm was touching the crash cymbal, at another is almost knocking Michael's right hand. Quite an intimidating approach - certainly causing the rhythm section to sweat! Highlights for me were Naima and Invitation, both played with feeling and invention. A great show of improvisation in a friendly, intimate venue.

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