Courtney Pine Sextet

Supported by Neil Campbell
The Capstone
13th March 2011

Live music review by Sebastian Gahan 18/3/2011

Can you get lost in your own hometown? Unexpectedly, the answer to that question is yes. Arriving just in time to see support from Neil Campbell and Perri Allaine-Hughes, I settled down and sent thanks to taxi drivers everywhere.

Their short but sweet set of songs including instrumental Particle Theory, and vocal songs Sunday Song, Walking With The Sun and Both Of You were an appropriate intro to the work of the duo, who many readers may have seen before, and set the scene for Courtney Pine very well indeed.

Indeed, after some minutes the shadows of the Capstone were lifted and the Courtney Pine Sextet emerged to a shower of applause from the packed venue. As Pine had not played the venue before – The Capstone after all only recently opened its doors! – He was keen to say an enthusiastic ‘Good Evening Liverpool! I’ve waited a long time to say that…’ and then did some ‘tuning’ with the audience, with whom he interacted rewardingly over the night. In the case of myself, with many references to ‘that geezer writing stuff down’ and an encore- presaging ‘Yo dude, I know you’re writing stuff down but is it time to go home yet?’ Of course the answer was a definite ‘No!’

With tracks from his latest album Europa to unveil, home time was a long way off and indeed it was an excellent night. Many people have the idea that Jazz is a straight faced, straight laced and humourless event but they are ripe to make a reconsideration of that opinion in the light of this show. There was humour aplenty, body tapping rhythms in abundance and musicianship of the highest calibre to boot. Opening with ‘Deuteronomy’ an energetic piece with all of the Sextet playing a part, it was a collection of musicians caught in the moment giving their whole bodies and minds to the performance.

A highlight was Pine – playing Bass Saxophone as opposed to his usual Clarinet – soloing as the drums gradually excelled behind him to lead into the whole band joining in. Indeed, played live it could almost soundtrack the chase scene in a movie it had that much energy coming from it!

Other pieces he played include La Reserche du Sangreal, Druids Lyre and They Came from the North, all with the same passion and attention to detail that mark out the vast catalog of albums Pine and his fellow musicians have released over the years. I could go on forever about how much I enjoyed this show but I think you have got the point by now!

Courtney would like me to point out that its Mothers Day soon and his album is out. No, really! That’s what he asked to write down at one point during the night and you really could do worse than go out and get this excellent release until you get the chance to see him live.

You know what you must do!

Printer friendly page

Sorry Comments Closed

Comment left by Sebastian Gahan on 18th March, 2011 at 17:00
Correction -- 'A highlight was Pine playing Bass Clarinet as opposed to his usual Saxophone' Courtney Pine usually plays Saxophone. - For this show he played Bass Clarinet. Apologies for this error.