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Early Nite + Riviera Quartet  -  Sun May 14, 2017  |  08:00 pm
Admission £ 8.00 ( £ 6.00 concessions)
When bassist Otto Wilberg was here last year with Mark Hanslip’s HTrio we were mightily impressed by his playing, so when he mentioned that he also had a trio of his own - Early Nite - we wasted no time before checking them out. And then wasted no time before booking them for this great double bill.

Although Early Nite’s sax-bass-drums line-up is instrumentally identical to HTrio, the music could hardly be more different. Based around Otto’s own compositions, there is a strong emphasis on melodic hooks (albeit often extremely brief and pithy) spiced with humorous twists and turns and unexpected ‘now you see it, now you don’t’ juxtapositions. The music evolves from short theme statements, but avoiding jazz’s classic theme-solos-theme structure, so that the musicians can enjoy taking the ideas in different directions without feeling obliged to over-extend the process - indeed, many of the pieces have the punchy brevity of the best pop singles! As Otto Wilberg himself puts it, this is “a project which is experimental in nature whilst also being a lot of fun”.

The Riviera Quartet stays closer to the straightahead tradition, with its main inspiration being the cool, cinematic jazz of the 1960s, but the music is nearly all original, and in the hands of such talented players as trumpeter Pete Tanton, guitarist Mark Williams, bassist John Pope and drummer Adam Sinclair, there’s never any sense of déjà entendu. On the contrary, this is music which, despite its mainstream roots, sounds unfailingly fresh . . . new and tasty wine in interestingly re-fashioned old bottles.

Tickets for this gig are available from Reflex CDs (0191 260 3246) or online from