1 July 2016

Live Review: Kevin Flanagan @ The Verdict

Kevin Flanagan Quartet

Friday 17th June 2016

The Verdict, Brighton


    Beginning with Midnight Voyage, pianist Dave Gordon excelled with free-flowing solo lines reminiscent of the tune’s composer, Joey Calderazzo. Combining lesser-played jazz standards with his own original compositions, Kevin Flanagan’s original tune Newk was dedicated to Sonny Rollins and aptly illustrated his influence on Flanagan’s playing, as well as demonstrating how to do a tight ending on a tune with a lot of notes.

    If there was a recurring theme to this performance it was the album The Real McCoy by McCoy Tyner as many of the tunes from this album were performed, such as Blues On The Corner and the haunting Search For Peace. With exquisite tenor saxophone playing, the two contrasting instruments, soprano sax and bass clarinet, were well suited to the repertoire chosen. The free-jazz-inspired tune for bass clarinet provided a chance to use the full range of the instrument before the start of a low register melody over a steady groove.

    Flanagan was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, the same city as Jack Kerouac, and beat poetry combined with music has been an interest of his for a few years now. So it was no surprise that the band finished with an uptempo (but meditative) original, Snow Blue Night, based on a poem by Beat poet Gary Snyder.


Kevin Flanagan, tenor & soprano sax, bass clarinet; Dave Gordon, piano; Joel Humann, bass; Tom Holland, drums.


Charlie Anderson

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