Queen Elizabeth Hall

To the QEH on London’s South Bank to see a great gig as part of the London Jazz Festival. hard to believe that we were here just two years ago. Actually, Gwilym Simcock was performing here again with his band The Impossible Gentlemen – an amazing line-up also featuring Mancunian guitarist Mike Walker who is a revelation: an extraordinary fusion of Scofield, Stern, Metheny and Jeff Beck and a rhythm section of Steve Rodby (ex-Pat Metheny sideman) on bass and pugilist-powerhouse Adam Nussbaum on drums. The best numbers were the ballads. An off-kilter 7/4 bossa with Gwilym on melodica really stood out as did a beautiful pianissimo unison between bass and guitar.

But we were there to see Steve Swallow’s band, the headliners of the show. There was Carla Bley playing spooky Hammond and a great fat-toned tenor player, Chris Cheek. Very lovely 60s-inflected tunes. Here they are looning about backstage afterwards…

Gwilym far left; Carla laughing in the middle; Steve Swallow stooping right

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