GIG: St Patrick’s Hall, 4pm, October 30
Ian Date guitar, Nigel Date guitar, Howard Cairns double bass, Ian Cooper violin
WHAT a quick trip — from Japan to the Hot Club of France in a few easy steps. With a sense of fun and much agility on strings, Date’s quartet ushered us into the world of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, into gypsy jazz and hot jazz. Cooper on violin was as nimble as a cat on hot bricks, sweeping and swerving and weaving between the cascade of guitar notes and chords. And behind it all was the energetic Howard Cairns, intent as he delivered impetus.
What was it about this music that appealed so much? I thought about that as the quartet played Swing Guitars (Reinhardt), Norwegian Dance (from Grieg’s Peer Gynt), To Each His Own (recorded in 1947 for the film), Sour Georgia Brown (Date), Deep Purple (deRose) segueing into something Cooper wrote “on the plane coming down this morning”, Daphne (Reinhardt), Out of Nowhere as a waltz and Body and Soul, with Cairns playing a melody.
The quartet displayed deftness and lightness of touch. The music was quick, jaunty and toe-tapping. It was intricate, with fingers falling over themselves on guitar and bass strings. The band was tight. The tempo often seemed like skipping. There was whimsy, fun and the music floated lightly over our heads, the ensemble not taking itself too seriously and obviously enjoying the outing. And there was a great deal of skill in the playing.
It would be great to hear more music from the Reinhardt-Grappelli era and this quartet delivers it in style.