Lichfield Arts started of their Autumn 2022 season with a quartet of a truly international flavour. The British guitarist and composer Phil Robson, and the New York based Saxophonist and composer Jed Levy, were accompanied by the very tight rhythm section of double bassist Dave Whitford and drummer Roberto Gatto.
The quartet played pieces written by both Phil Robson and Jed Levy, but incorporated a lot of time for improvisation, some impressive ensemble playing, and some fleet fingered soloing from all four members of the ensemble.
The concert started with the shifting time signatures and unison playing of Jed Levy’s Irony, while Phil Robson’s Canute and Three Chord Trick bought a more rock music like sound, but with plenty of interval leaping solos, and some intricate ensemble playing.
Jeb Levy’s tone poem Twiddle Twaddle used speech influenced rhythms, and advanced saxophone techniques to make its sonic point, and the one ballad of the evening, Phil Robson’s Authenticity was brilliantly played, the Lichfield audience being only the third audience to have heard it.
Leading Tones, another of Jeb Levy’s inventive compositions leant heavily on the bass playing of Dave Whitford, and the blues piece that closed the concert, Vintage Vista was an apt illustration of why the ensemble are held in such high regard by Jazz fans, and show how much more interesting music the ensemble have to write and develop in the future.