Gig Review: Simon Purcell Quintet

October 14 @ Seven Arts

Simon Purcell has brought together five of the best musicians residing in the UK at this time for his quintet tour, playing original compositions which showcase his and the rest of the group's prowess as composers and improvisers.

The nature of Purcell's writing draws heavily on that of Miles Davis' second great quintet, John Coltrane and McCoy Tyner – always rooted in the tradition but exploring territories of less harmonic rigidity in the improvisations.

The playing of Julian Siegel (saxophones) and Chris Batchelor (trumpet) was wholly inspiring. Both musicians seem to have an endless pool of brilliant ideas to draw on and both deliver their ideas with a level of taste, maturity and musicality unparalleled in the UK at least.

Supported by the great Steve Watts on bass, and driven all the time by Gene Calderazzo on drums, no matter what was being played – whether the Elvin Jones-esque Dark Night or beautiful ballad Ithica – each member of the group was producing music of the highest quality.

It's a shame that more people were not there to enjoy the music and give the band the vibe they deserved.

Declan Forde