Review: Misha Mullov-Abbado Quintet, Adnams Spiegeltent

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2015 Ns at the Forum. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY.

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2015 Ns at the Forum. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

The combination of a lead trombone with alto sax backed by a three piece rhythm section worked superbly in the Spiegeltent at the festival. Mathew Herd has a remarkable bright tone on his alto and this merged unexpectedly well with the very mellow trombone of Tom Green. Sometimes on the head these two played in harmony and in the opening chorus sometimes in counterpoint. This makes them sound like a very big small band.

The unit is directed from the bass by Misha Mullov-Abbado who also gave his name to the band. They are due to release their debut album this autumn. Indeed much of the robust strength of this little band is due to its impeccable and sensitive rhythm section which, as well as the leader, features Liam Dunachie on melodic and highly empathetic piano. This was supported by sensitively modulated drumming by David Ingamells, giving the group its delightful swing feel, across all tempos in its repertoire.

Their gig in the Spiegeltent made perfect use of this smaller space with its low lighting levels and 'open air' acoustics. Unfortunately a failure in the sound system deprived most of the audience from hearing the introductions to each number - but did not detract at all from the clarity of the skilled and emotive playing.

The organisers of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival are to be complimented for their skill in bringing both celebrated names and diverse newer talents to one of the best festivals many of us have attended over some years. This band is certainly one I want to see again and will be following in the future.

Roger Haywood

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