Bury St Edmunds Festival: Jazz

Bury St Edmunds Festival, Trio Gitano, Cornhill Walk, Bury St Edmunds Festival, May 16

Bury St Edmunds Festival, Trio Gitano, Cornhill Walk, Bury St Edmunds Festival, May 16

THE Festival's publicity blurb suggested it may be difficult to categorise the music of Trio Gitano, even more so when the audience discovered the Trio was, in fact, a quintet.

Festival organiser, Nick Wells, explained guitarist Sam Slater had asked if the trio could bring a couple of friends, who duly took their places alongside a flute and violin, while double bassist Percy Purseglove then produced a trumpet.

The music encompassed Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, as well as the legendary Hot Club of Paris. It also embraced gypsy jazz, Latin-influenced numbers and Flamenco before ending with a glorious pastiche of the Enrico's Moricani's music from several Spaghetti Westerns. . . you almost expected to see the Magnificent Seven riding out of the dust.

While the individual performances were superb, the ensemble work was even better, with the flute of Holly Jones and violin of Lewis Robinson an excellent blend.

There was also some superb trumpet playing with Percy Purseglove, a former star of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, really cracking some high notes.

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Central to the performance was the twin guitar playing of Jamie Gray and Sam Slater who were as at home with the 'clunk, clunk' sound of Django Reinhardt as they were with the high octane Flamenco music.

Highlights included the Gitano version of Take Five, originally set by Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond, and Black Orpheus, which is better known as I Sing as I Play My Guitar.

In all this was an evening of great musicianship from five highly-talented individuals. They are young and, on this showing, they could be destined for stardom before they are very much older.

Alan Crumpton

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