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Review at Marlow Jazz Club
1:33pm Thursday 31st January 2013 in Freetime
By Louise Lacey
Despite snow and ice still encircling the Royal British Legion Hall and surrounding roads, a respectable sized crowd turned out to catch the well known partnership of Vasilis Xenopoulos and Nigel Price.
Introducing the band, Marlow Jazz Club organiser Michael Eagleton recalled the first time that they met Vasilis. Recently arrived in this country from Greece, and aged only 21, he had sat in with the Willie Garnett Big Band at the former venue and electrified the audience with some quite remarkable tenor sax technique for one so young.
Now, 10 years on, (and still looking 21!) he is one of the most respected saxophonists based in this country and has built up a big following. His regular appearances at the Ealing Jazz Festival have been much praised. He has built up a fine rapport with Nigel Price who must now be rated as one of the most gifted jazz guitarists in this country with a big sound and fast fingering.
Expertly backed by Ken McCarthy, keyboard, Elliot Toms, drums, and Malcolm Creese, bass, the pair served up some superb jazz throughout the evening. That tune from the Doris Day songbook “Secret Love” was a big favourite with one of Vasilis’ heroes, Dexter Gordon, and it was given a dynamic workout at this gig. Also outstanding was Charlie Parker’s composition “Scrapple From The Apple”. Vasilis, too, is also making a name for himself as a composer. His ballad feature “And Now What” is a lovely tune from his latest album “Loud City”: all tracks included on this are Vasilis originals.
Ken McCarthy provided some tasteful and swinging piano throughout the evening. Regular keyboard player at the Club, Frank Toms, suffered a health scare over Christmas and is recovering well, but will need a period of recuperation before returning to the stage at Marlow’s British Legion Hall.
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