Mark Dobbin reports on Andy Bowie’s Smooth Sunday, The Elm Tree, Cambridge, April 2006

Local Cambridgeshire Artist
Jazz saxophonist Andy Bowie was enjoying being back at the Elm Tree, playing to an audience all the more appreciative as his set continued. The band, he's known a long time: Peter Shepherd on piano; John Halton on double bass, Derek Scurll on drums - and whilst the quartet can claim to perform all sorts of jazz, tonight's emphasis was on the modern with a dash of bossa nova.

Immediately we were treated to some good interplay between sax and piano, Peter Shepherd waiting only until the band's second number Mahjong before breaking off for an impressive solo, and soloing again on Easy Living. Wayne Shorter's Witch Hunt brought John Halton's accomplished double bass playing to the fore, and we reached the
interval with rousing all-round work on Thelonius Monk's Blue Monk.

One moan - couldn't Andy introduce numbers before playing them? We'd like to know! But it's a small moan. What counted was that the quartet gelled even better in the second half. Andy's tenor sax was given full rein on John Coltrane's classic Countdown and the deliciously drowsy ballad Don't Talk To Strangers. Halton's bass made a prominent return on Miles Davis' Freddie Freeloader. After bossa nova number My Little Suede Shoes, the quartet closed to great applause on Stella By Starlight, with notable solo efforts from all three sidemen.

Which must have made Andy Bowie a pretty happy jazzman.

Writer: Mark Dobbin

2006 Copyright © Moving Tone Ltd.