Tim Garland’s Weather Walker Trio at The Queen’s Hall this evening was a rare chance to catch up with three of the top talents in contemporary jazz (Tim Garland, Jason Rebello and Yuri Goloubev) on the one stage with each bringing their individual talents clearly to the forefront of an innovative evening of music.
The trio may be taking their name from Tim’s latest album, “Weather Walker”, but the friendships and collaborations together as musicians go back many years, and the enjoyment that each member of the band is getting from playing music with one another is obvious and a pleasure to be a part of as a member of the audience. Here, over two sets of roughly one hour each, we have musicians on stage who know instinctively where and when to support one another and when to be soloists. This results in each being able to bring their own individual talents fully to the stage knowing that, if required, the other members of the trio are exactly where they should be to support them if required. This sort of instinctive trust in one another’s musical ability and timing is always something special to watch and listen to.
As you would expect, we visited the “Weather Walker” album tonight, including the haunting and at times strangely fragile feeling title track of the album. Tim Garland is a musical explorer and adventurer who is often drawing inspiration for new music from classical sources and music from many different cultures, and a visit to the music of the album “One” gave us the multi-cultural influnces of “Sama’i For Peace”. To quote from Wikipedia
“Sama'i (also known as usul semai) is a vocal piece of Ottoman Turkish music composed in 6/8 meter”
Also from “One”is “The Eternal Greeting”, a musical celebration of the never ending pleasure of meeting new people and playing music in endlessly variant combinations with fellow friends and musicians on-stage.
For myself, I always have a liking for musicians and creatives who collaborate on “off the wall” projects, and here that was in the form of our trio working with Tim’s long-time friend, poet Don Paterson, with Don reading his poem “Death” to the backdrop of the trio’s music. Don Paterson is also a very gifted jazz guitarist and for many years ran the jazz-folk ensemble Lammas with Tim Garland (also featuring Christine Tobin).
Tim Garland is a gifted saxophonist (as well as other instruments), and combining his talents with Jason Rebello on piano and Yuri Goloubev on double bass make a trio that in many people’s minds will be the almost perfect ”classic jazz” trio – the sort that you dream of finding unexpectedly in some off the beaten track jazz club perhaps. Despite this classic sound, there is also that sharp edge of experimentation to their music, a bit like taking a trip into the unknown, never knowing what is coming next, but always knowing that it will be interesting and innovative.
Review by Tom King