The talented quartet of pianist Dan Temmings, drummer Dave Tandy, bass player Paul Robinson and leader Nick Dewhurst on trumpet and guitar played to an appreciative audience when they appeared at Lichfield’s Cathedral Hotel.
Respecting all of the safety measures of masks and social distancing, the crowd was a lot smaller than it would have been only a year ago, but the group played well, tackling a series of well chosen standards and some of Nick’s own compositions.
They started proceedings with Without a Song, the expansive setting of the piano, and sympathetic bass and drums gave Nick a broad canvas to play over.
Love for Sale was also well played, with a much more rock based arrangement, owing as much to soul and the blues as it would to jazz.
The original Stuck in Spain took inspiration from both COVID-19 and Chick Corea, with some fine piano accompaniment.
Nick changed to guitar for the standard Misty, a slower ballad with filigree playing throughout.
The second set started with the sonic excursions of Blues for Dave, allowing for some fine soloing from all members, with Nick sounding like both Jon Scofield and Jeff Beck during his guitar solo.
Another original – Fusion Line – was also well played, the changing time signature and catchy trumpet parts adding a lot to the sound mix, while the near ten minute cover of Herbie Hancock’s Cantaloupe Island took the familiar piece into new sonic territory, with exciting soloing from all of the group members.
Although many music fans will have found the attractions of live streaming during lockdown, this concert was a reminder of how much difference a live band and an audience makes to the enjoyment of music, albeit socially distanced.