A select audience of Jazz fans saw the acclaimed four piece ensemble Empirical play when the group appeared at Lichfield Guildhall.

The four musicians, Alto Saxophonist Nathanial Facey, Drummer Shane Forbes, Vibraphone player Lewis Wright, and double bassist Tom Farmer played pieces from their most recent album, ‘Out ‘n’ In’ an album featuring music by and inspired by the life of Eric Dolphy.

A number of the pieces lasted for a long time, and required a lot of thought, such as opener ‘Hat and Beard’ with its complicated time signatures and unusual sounds. A number of ballads also featured, such as ‘A Bitter End for a Tender Giant’ while the long form piece ‘Dolphyus Morphyus’ required dextrous playing from all four members.

The unusual instrumentation of the group led to unusual arrangement ideas, while the lack of a piano added a lightness of touch to the music.

It is a shame that the concert had such a small audience. Music of this nature deserves to be heard by more people.