1 November 2015

Live Review: Gary Crosby’s Groundation at The Verdict

Gary Crosby’s Groundation

The Verdict, Brighton

Friday 30th October 2015


    Beginning with a Shirley Tetteh original dedicated to mandolin player Joshua Pinkham and guitarist Frank Vignola, straight away the music was full of energetic, powerful drumming from young Moses Boyd, together with rhythmic interplay with Shirley Tetteh, accompanied by the strong, full sound of Gary Crosby’s basslines.

    The second tune, composed by drummer Moses Boyd, began with  an intense drum pattern followed by flowing melodic lines before the rhythm section effortlessly slipped into a Sly & Robbie style groove.

    Bringing the energy level down for the start of the next number, Nathaniel Facey’s Ode to O.C. was a fitting tribute to the late Ornette Coleman. With Facey’s oblique lines, combined with rhythmic and melodic interplay between the musicians, the music quietened down with Facey’s quote from Amazing Grace, enabling Tetteh to showcase her bluesy guitar playing before Boyd introduced a New Orleans-style street beat before an extended sax and drums duet ensued. Ending with some astonishing musical sensitivity, this was a great beginning to the New Generation series.

    In the second set, the energy continued, with another original by drummer Moses Boyd, and yet more interplay between Facey’s fluent lines (across all registers) and Boyd’s polyrhythmic dynamism, resulting in waves of intensity.

    The Bob Marley tune Midnight Ravers featured an African-derived drum pattern from the Maroon people of Jamaica, followed by a grooving and swinging  (then grooving again) version of Oleo.

    With an electric atmosphere and an enthusiastic audience, the encore was a tune inspired by a trip to Senegal and the folk tales of Anansi the spider. With raucous energy, stripped down to Facey’s African vocals and Tetteh’s Afro-beat guitar hits, they drew the audience in to their conversation and ended an evening of joyous and inspiring music.

    The intention behind the New Generation jazz series is to present younger jazz musicians to a younger audience. With a new, youthful audience, combined with some of the Verdict’s regulars, and a full house, this was certainly a successful venture and one worthy of everyone’s support.


Nathaniel Facey, alto sax; Shirley Tetteh, guitar; Gary Crosby, double bass; Moses Boyd, drums


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Charlie Anderson

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