by Ian Mann
September 28, 2010
Guest contributor Trevor Bannister enjoys this homage to Bill Evans performed by singer Nette Robinson, pianist Michael Garrick and their guests.
Nette Robinson Sings with Michael Garrick
Pizza Express, Dean Street, Soho, London, Monday 20th September 2010.
Compared to the bustle of nearby Oxford Street, The Pizza Express took on a cathedral-like quiet as Michael Garrick MBE evoked the memory of Bill Evans with the opening bars of ?In April’, the first number in Remembered Time, a collaboration between Garrick and singer Nette Robinson to mark the 30th anniversary of the pianist’s death.
Robinson’s clear diction and natural, unforced tones brought exactly the right qualities to Evans’ compositions, whether in duet with Garrick, or with the added support of depping bassist Dave Mannington - especially effective on ?Turn Out The Stars’, and the lyrical alto of husband Tony Woods on ?Very Early’. As well as providing exquisite accompaniments, Garrick the composer/lyric writer was also to the fore throughout the evening, and it was wonderful to hear sung versions of tunes such as ?Galilee’ and ?Swallows on the Water’, more familiar in the repertoire as instrumental arrangements. ?Shining Light’, graced with the flugel-horn of Gabriel Garrick and ?September Reflection’ were further stand-out performances.
?So What’ brought a change of tempo and a chance for the front-line to stretch out in a vivid reminder of Bill Evans contribution to Miles Davis’ classic album Kind Of Blue. Duly rested Nette returned to the stage for a spell of vocal gymnastics on Garrick’s ?Midsummer Departures’, a light-hearted reflection on the travel business (featuring the composer on ?mouth percussion’). Again in duet, Robinson and Garrick brought the gig to a close with a final declaration of their affinity for the Evans legacy with a moving ?Time Remembered’.
With its excellent musicianship, changes of pace, leavening of good humour and above all, insight into the music of Bill Evans, Remembered Time proved to be an original concept and one hopes that it will find a wider audience as both a CD album on JAZA 18 and in live performance.blog comments powered by Disqus