The Frank Harrison Quartet @ The Everyman Studio Theatre

It’s Bonfire Night and The Frank Harrison Trio are in town, what sort pyrotechnics
can we expect? Damp squid or a starburst?

From the start it was clear that this evening will be no damp squid! Kicking off with Brubeck’s ” In Your Own Sweet Way” and the way was good and fast with Enzo finding his feet with a borrowed drum kit (he had just flown in from Italy with just his cymbals) Frank was quite at home with the piano which sounded great and Colin Chaplin, on bass, providing a sound foundation.

Next, Bill Evans and “A Letter to Evan”. This came as a surprise to me, Evan was Bill’s son who was only four when Bill died. (you learn things at these gigs!) This number, despite the history was was treated quite unsentimentally and as I said in my notes: bouncy. The tempo, now slows right down with a number about love (sorry I missed the title) however, it comes over as suitably romantic.

Another waltz, but beware, this is Fats Waller’s “Jitterbug Waltz” taken very quickly and the breadth of improvisation, by Frank, was breathtaking with a snatch of it’s very recognisable tune bringing you back to earth.

After the break, Enzo came back with a storming drum solo which then developed into the Steve Allen / Ray Brown tune with the unlikely name of “Gravy Waltz.”

Next a spot of Latin with a Jobim tune, Portrait in Black and White, suitably Latino!

Another surprise (to me anyway) was a Paul Simon song that was played by Bill Evans, “I Do It For My Love.” Back to Latin and “Brigas Nunca Mais,” yes, another Jobim tune.

A few more super tunes ending in a storming “And The Song is You.” All through this gig you could see the guys on the edge of their metaphorical seats, concentrating on the rhythms, body language and indeed heartbeats! This is of course how top rate jazz musicians work and these guys certainly fit that bill. Definitely starburst!

PJL Nov ’18