Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Raw Power - Manchester Jazz Festival day 7

Back again to some real proper hot sunburny sunshine in St Anns square for day 7, Thursday 24th July. I've only seen Mrs Colombo once before and it was in this exact same spot two years ago. They were one of the better acts that year and I was keen to check them out again. On that occasion the line up included the excellent Sam Smith on piano but he's now based in London I believe and it was left up to the addition of Jo McCallum on sax to help fill the gap. There was interesting material here but the band seemed quite hesitant and the performance lacked a bit of sparkle. The material did also sound quite sparse without the keyboard though guitar player Jim Faulkner did his best to fill the gap. What I think was the newer material worked best, especially 'Vague', a King Crimson style guitar workout not dissimilar to Crimson's 'Ladies of the Road'. The pulled off a passing version of 'Prudence vs Provocation' but again it lacked the piano. Potential here but needs a kick up the proverbial.

My affection for 'The Blessing' is well documented on this blog and tonight at Matt and Phreds they again hit the spot, though I was a bit disappointed that regular drummer Clive Deamer wasn't in attendance. No big deal it turned out as the replacement (didn't catch his name I'm afraid) did a great job with some fab high energy beating of the beats. The raw bass riffing of Jim Barr was even rawer than usual and horn players Pete Judge and Jake McMurchie kept the energy levels high and momentum moving forward apace. If anything it was a sliver of a smidgen too raw, possibly from the extra force coming from the drums but still a great gig and another highlight of the festival.

No comments: