Review: The Steve Waterman Quartet at the Wade Street Church in Lichfield

The leading British trumpet player, teacher and composer Steve Waterman led his talented quartet through a spirited set when he appeared at Wade Street Church as part of Lichfield Arts Jazz and Blues Festival.

The Steve Waterman Quartet

The Steve Waterman Quartet

Leading on trumpet and flugelhorn, Waterman was more than ably assisted by pianist Gareth Williams, bassist Alec Dankworth, and drummer Dave Barry, in a set that ranged from their own original music to covers of music by the likes of Horace Silver and Wayne Shorter, which allowed the musicians plenty of opportunity to show their skills in ensemble playing and soloing.

The energetic drumming and elastic double bass playing leant a solid foundation, while the keyboard playing added extra colours, particularly during slower numbers such as the ballad October Rain, which was a showcase for the flugelhorn.

The upbeat Destination Unknown was a straight forward jazz number, full of spiky interchanges and skilful playing through a number of shifting time signatures, before the drumming of Dave Barry was given a showcase during Nowhere to Go, the first part of a concerto for congos.

This was an evening of fine jazz music with skilful musicians taking chances with the repertoire and stretching the skills across a wide range of genres in a venue that allowed the playing to be heard to its best advantage.