The Impossible Gentlemen
19th October 2016
The Old Market, Hove
Starting with the title track from their latest album, Let’s Get Deluxe, this was a group that started with a real, tight-knit groove to start the beginning of something that Brighton (and Hove) hasn’t heard in a long time.
With legendary drummer Adam Nussbaum leading from the centre, his introduction to You Won’t Be Around To See It, from their 2011 eponymous debut album, was yet another indicator of a world-class ensemble in full flow.
Though Dog Time is from their latest album, keen admirers of The Impossible Gentlemen would have recognised it from their last appearance at The Old Market last year when they performed compositions ahead of their new album, which they recorded at Curtis Schwartz’s studio in Ardingly, West Sussex.
Going back to earlier material such as Barber Blues (from their critically acclaimed 2013 album Internationally Recognised Aliens) was no problem for Steve Rodby, who guested on bass on the original album, having replaced Steve Swallow soon afterwards.
After the interval, we were treated to another track from the new album, another one that they performed last year, Terrace Legend. It was evident that the biggest difference between last year’s concert and this year’s was the addition of reedsman Iain Dixon, who excelled on soprano and bass clarinet throughout the evening. But it was his fine tenor sax playing on the Mike Walker tune Clockmaker that displayed his gift for soaring melodic lines. His ethereal bass clarinet playing on Heute Loiter created a perfect backdrop for Steve Rodby’s beautiful and sensitive segue-way and bass introduction to Simcock’s haunting ballad Just To See You. Keyboardist Simcock gets better and better and his soloing was simply breathtaking.
Nussbaum’s Sure Would Baby has become the band’s popular closer and was the perfect tune to round off the concert. It’s rare to see a drummer with such energy and technical mastery, combined with an ability to play ballads in such a delicate, sensitive way.
This concert was only made possible by promoters David Forman and Ralph Earle who have both done a fantastic job in bringing world-class jazz to the Brighton area.
Photo by David Forman.
Read Eddie Myer’s Jazzwise review of this concert here.
Read our interview with pianist Gwilym Simcock here.