Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1093

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Live

Robin Nolan Trio: PizzaExpress Soho, London 18/5/19

Robin Nolan Trio: PizzaExpress Soho, London 18/5/19 @bluesandsoul.com
Robin Nolan Trio: PizzaExpress Soho, London 18/5/19 @bluesandsoul.com Robin Nolan Trio: PizzaExpress Soho, London 18/5/19 @bluesandsoul.com Robin Nolan Trio: PizzaExpress Soho, London 18/5/19 @bluesandsoul.com Robin Nolan Trio: PizzaExpress Soho, London 18/5/19 @bluesandsoul.com

La pompe manouche is never far away as it's central to the gypsy jazz music but Nolan deftly employs enough variety in his set with rhumbas, ballads and even raga inspired ditties that epitomise this master musician's game plan and besides this, he knows how to entertain - a consummate performer and ever so stylish to boot! A rare London appearance at the fabulous PizzaExpress Soho club was too good an opportunity to miss - screw Facebook, I wanted to see this guy live!

His ensemble bob and weave majestically as the main man peels off his incredibly melodic and sweet sounding soloing at a terrific pace, with electrifying grace in this top-drawer place. I rest my case with a smile on my face...it just F-L-O-W-S. You get the picture! The open chord lushness of "Something" is breathtakingly beautiful, a lovely way to honour his friend George Harrison and so too is "And I Love Her". You can tell The Beatles are never far from his heart.

Whilst remaining faithful to the don of this style, Django, he bursts into a lilting version of the evergreen staple "Nuage" and pays full respect but conversely, no genre is off limits either and that's where it gets fun and interesting. "Tainted Love", the Gloria Jones Northern soul classic, swings like a barn door on a blustery night. Next, the rhumba blessedness of "Bossa Dorado" adds heaps of spice and flavour to this well measured set.

Musician wise, Chris Quinn on rhythm, is your archetypal anchorman, his timing is set in granite and he can romp la pompe till the cows come home with his lightness of touch. He is the engine who purrs ever so sweetly. Arnoud Van Den Berg, the lynchpin, handles the double bass in a deft manner and provides the bottom end with his jazztastic chops that keep the boys well and truly motoring.

A well honed band is a working band so I implore you lovers of this cherished art-form, to try and catch them on their UK tour, they will definitely not disappoint.

A little piece of Samois joined this fab Soho eatery tonight...

PHOTOS: EMRYS BAIRD
Words Emrys Baird

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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