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Review: The Fred Thelonious Baker Trio at the Cathedral Hotel

This newly formed trio led by guitarist Fred ’T’ Baker treated an attentive audience to a showcase of complicated instrumentals that ranged from atonal noise bombs, to solo classical guitar pastiches.

Fred ‘T’ Baker

The concert started with the solo acoustic pieces of Hymn for Hope and Prelude to Life, which showed both Baker’s guitar talent, and his restless spirit.

He was joined by the rest of the trio – Nick Twyman on drums and Michael O’Brien on bass – for Phil Miller’s complex Eastern Region, which took in elements of swing jazz with rock overtones, whilethe set closer Above and Below used a guitar synthesiser, to summon up all days of noises for this complex piece that went through most time signatures and keys, keeping both the audience and band on their toes.

The second half was even more bombastic, with volume and feedback being used to musical effect.

It started with Phil Miller’s upbeat and joyous Upside, which gave Nick Twyman a lot of work to do, while Truly Yours was a delicate ballad that showed the sensitivity of the three players to good effect.

Delta Borderline started with a slow, brooding blues figure, before become something completely unpredictable, before the encore of Green and Purple

This was not a stately, graceful recital, but one that was full of blood, bombast and noises that other ensembles would not dream of using, but here it was all done to good effect, showing the talent of these three musicians and their ability to meld new sounds around older tunes.

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