Fleece Jazz, Stoke By Nayland January 2018.
Dave's Notes 28 Jan 2018, Bryan Corbett Quartet

Our photographer Peter said that the gig was so good that he was lost for words. I have to find some. I also have to admit a bias: I engineered Bryan Corbett's beautiful album, "Message of Iridescence", live at Fleece Jazz, and loved every note. He is my personal favourite trumpeter and flugeler. And he has the chutzpah to bring a great trio with him. The lineup was:
Bryan on trumpet/flugel,  Al Gurr piano/keys, Ben Markland bass and Neil Bullock drums. They played up a storm. We had Bryan's amazing compositions and some standards. What struck me particularly about the band as a whole was the range of dynamics they used.

The first thing you notice about Bryan on trumpet is the tone and tone variation. The opening number started with an extended tone poem (not "a lot of nonsense" as Bryan announced after the piece) which sequed into Wayne Shorter's "Sanctuary, and again into Bryan's "Corbenova". He uses the whole pitch and timbral range of the instrument, as well as deep slides. But it is not just to display technical mastery. Each note has a purpose. If I had to pick a solo, it would be in Watson's "Wheel Within a Wheel". I had a particular liking for Bryan's "Crystal Waters", as I had recorded it, and knew it note for note. Bryan was on the flugel for this one, and it was fresh as the waters he describes in the song.

I would love to have these guys much more often. Al is such a superb accompanist and soloist. He used our piano and his three machines (two keyboards and a synth). He swings like crazy, and uses the timbres of the keyboard to perfectly match the tune. In the Campbell/Connelly/Woods. "Try a Little Tenderness", which was beautifully played by all four, he had a particularly affecting solo.

Ben had a great bass solo on that one as well. He brought an electric bass for this gig, and the tone suited the music throughout the evening. We don't see him often enough.

We don't see any of them often enough. Neil is such a powerful drummer whether quietly on the brushes or raising the roof. His traded 4s were wonderful. The solo on "Whee..." was particularly fine.

But the memory which will stay with me is Bryan sculpting the sound of his horns like a potter at the wheel.