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Yetii, Black Mountain Jazz Club, Melville Theatre, Abergavenny, 30/04/2023.

Photography: Photograph by Kasia Ociepa

by Ian Mann

May 05, 2023


Black Mountain Jazz regulars Debs Hancock, Patricia Morgan & Graham Harris pool their resources to review this five star performance by piano trio Yetii at their Club.

Yetii, Black Mountain Jazz Club, Melville Theatre, Abergavenny, 30/04/2023.

Alexander Veitch -piano, Ashley John Long – double bass, Alex Goodyear – drums

Debs Hancock of Black Mountain Jazz writes;

With the Jazzmann out of town at Cheltenham Jazz Festival we find ourselves writing a review for our recent Black Mountain Jazz Club night in The Melville Centre Abergavenny. We asked a couple of our regular jazz loving BMJ members to share their thoughts. Thanks go to Graham Harris and Patricia Morgan. 

The Jazzmann’s own review of Yetii’s “Live at the Greenbank” CD is linked below and includes biographical details of each of the performers. 

Playing to a full house of enthusiastic and very knowledgeable listeners Yetii shared their own compositions and their arrangements of a fascinating selection of jazz and pop material with Black Mountain Jazz Club in a performance that both enthralled and delighted the audience.

The first number, “Enough” drew in the audience. It was a contemplative Alex Veitch piano led piece effortlessly supported by the other members of the trio at a level of understanding and interpretation that couldn’t be faulted. It set the tone for the evening establishing that the audience were in for an absolute treat.

“Spring” was a delicate interplay between the players evoking a sense of awakening developing into the beauty of the major chord. The drum solo expressed Alex Goodyear’s talents, including using the snare as a bongo. Yetii’s swing and samba groove brought an added interest to the subsequent “Everything I Love”.

The interpretation of the Beatles number “Eleanor Rigby” highlighted how three diverse instruments can complement each other when played by truly skilled musicians. Their love of the music was reflected by the mesmerising performance and their up-tempo version was perfected to the highest quality. The audience continued to marvel at their talent with Veitch’s piano leading the melody, twisting it into lots of surprises along the way.  The subtlety of playing and blending, and their clear love of the genre was exquisite, and each track left the audience demanding more.

The complementary way in which Yetii’s three players gelled was unique and during the “Free Improvisation” towards the end of the first set the solo feature by double bassist Ashley John Long was truly outstanding as shown by the audience’s appreciation. Equally Alex Goodyear’s drum solo had the audience spellbound and calling for more. 

The three extremely talented players could not be faulted and as such left the audience begging for more and calling for a return gig sooner rather than later.

There are hardly enough words to convey the total quality of this performance and our BMJ audience look forward to a return visit from Yetii.
The subsequent sales of their CD “Live at The Greenbank” on the night was further testimony to the quality of the evening. With the exception of Yetii’s arrangement of the Carole King / Gerry Goffin song “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” all of the other tunes on the album had been performed tonight.
In the words of one of our younger audience members, these musicians were “phenomenal.”

The full set list was;

Set 1:
Enough - Yetii
Spring - Yetii
Everything I Love - Cole Porter
Eleanor Rigby - The Beatles
Free Improv - Yetii
Flim - The Bad Plus
Asking – Yetii

Set 2:
Girl from Ipanema - A C Jobim
May the wind - Yetii
Lost and found - Yetii
Chisa - Abdullah Ibrahim
Summer - Yetii
Afar - Yetii
Grounded - Yetii
XII - Yetii

Ian Mann adds;

Having favourably reviewed “Live at The Greenbank” I was disappointed to have to miss Yetii’s performance at Black Mountain Jazz.

However I’m pleased that the occasion has not gone undocumented and I’m grateful to Debs, Patricia and Graham for pooling their resources and writing this review. Thanks are also due to photographer Kasia Ociepa. It sounds as if I missed a very memorable performance.

That said I did enjoy a wonderful day of music at Cheltenham and performances by bass legend Stanley Clarke, rising guitar star Julian Lage, Kansas Smitty’s clarinettist Giacomo Smith and BMJ favourite, pianist Fergus McCreadie. Also on the bill were Anglo-German organ trio Deadeye, featuring Kit Downes, and Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love’s extraordinary septet, Circus.

Full coverage of the 2023 Cheltenham Jazz Festival is due to be published elsewhere on this site.

I hope to catch Yetii when they return to BMJ. Otherwise I will be forced to make a pilgrimage to Bristol and visit them at their spiritual home, The Greenbank.

Incidentally the word is out on Yetii with the London based jazz media beginning to sit up and take notice. The trio are the subject of both a feature and a review in the May 2023 edition of Jazzwise magazine, both written by the distinguished jazz journalist Stuart Nicholson.

But don’t forget that you read about them on The Jazzmann first.

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