- Sometime Ago
- This I Dig of You
- Good Bait
- The Star Crossed Lovers
- All My Tomorrows
Bruce Adams – Trumpet & Flugelhorn
Dave Cliff - Guitar
Leon Clayton – Bass
Martin Drew – Drums
Recorded Live at the Ronnie Scott Club – 31 May & 2 June 2000.
Bruce Adams is surely one of the finest jazz musicians
that the UK has produced; remarkably he has embraced most styles and
put them together in a way that is unique to him. The other thing
I greatly admire about Bruce is his consistency; I have never been
to a performance by him that was less than brilliant.
On this album he is backed by Dave Cliff, Leon Clayton
and Martin Drew, who are all stalwarts of the British Jazz Scene.
Martin of course has made many appearances in the Oscar Peterson Trio,
but all these musicians are of world class stature.
The programme choice is equally interesting Jordu
gets things off to a great start, Sometime Ago, I had not heard before,
but it is a very attractive melody and there is a fine extended coda
on this performance. Strollin is a Horace Silver composition and like
all his tunes it makes a great vehicle for improvisation, eagerly
seized on by the group. This I Dig Of You, is one of the ‘All Time
Great’ jazz tunes, taken at a bright tempo and showing just what a
talented improviser Dave Cliff is, before Bruce demonstrates his own
up-tempo improvisational skills. Leon Clayton is also an excellent
improviser as he demonstrates on this track, before Dave and Bruce
trade eight bar breaks with the always-swinging Martin Drew.
Skylark is in the top draw of ballads and Bruce’s
performance here is tender and musical as befits such a wonderful
tune. Dave Cliff follows suit with the leader and
together the band creates the best version of this
Hoagy Carmichael classic I have heard in a long time.
Tad Dameron’s Good Bait is ideal material for Bruce,
who puts some effortless high note work into this Jeepers Creepers
inspired tune. As it does throughout the album, the rhythm section
swings along nicely and makes for another swinging track.
The Star Crossed Lovers, is not a well known Ellington/Strayhorn
tune, but like everything from that stable, it makes an excellent
vehicle for improvisation, particularly when you have practitioners
of the ability of these guys!
All My Tomorrows, is better known, a Sammy Cahn/Jimmy
Van Huesen creation, this time we hear Bruce and Dave in mellow ballad
mood, but still swinging along gently. Bruce sometimes breaking into
double tempo and as usual making the near impossible sound easy.
Somehow it seems fitting that Clifford Brown’s Sandu
should be the last track. Clifford was an enormous influence in jazz,
but he was killed at a young age in a car accident. It is nice to
think that he lives on through his compositions, I am sure that if
he could hear this performance by Bruce and his band, he would be
pleased to know that his work was still being used to such effect.
This is a very fine album and I strongly recommend it.