The jazz element of Lichfield Blues and Jazz Festival was started by an exuberant concert from the five piece Lichfield Jazz All Stars.
The ensemble was made up of Nick Dewhurst on trumpet, flugelhorn and guitar, bassist Tom Moore, tenor saxophonist Callum Roxburgh, Dave Ferris on piano and organ, and Carl Hemmingsley on drums.
The set list ranged across several genres, from straight jazz, to originals that blended rock dynamics with jazz lyricism, and a few well-chosen covers that showed the ensembles strengths to best effect.
The concert opened with the jazz standard It Could Happen To You, while the Nick Dewhurst originals Suspect in You and Sky-Rocket showed his skills in arrangement, ensemble writing and way with a good tune. Stevie Wonder’s I Wish closed the first half with aplomb.
The energy levels of the second half were lifted slightly higher, with Dewhurst changing to guitar for the opening Average White Band number Pick Up The Pieces, before the complicated original of Gibraltar Rock showed how well the guitar was integrated into the band’s sound.
A number of pieces by the trumpeter and composer Kenny Dorham featured in the set as well, ranging from the soft ballad My Ideal, to the much more complex Lotus Blossom, while the original Fusion Line, which closed the concert, gave all five of the talented musicians the change to show their pedigree as players to the attentive audience.