Trio fills festival gap

editorial image

IT’S every festival organiser’s nightmare. The main acts are booked and the programmes, posters and T-shirts are printed.

But then one of the main acts drops out. This unfortunate situation befell Mike Gordon, director of Scarborough’s annual jazz festival, who learnt recently that Jacques Loussier couldn’t play at this year’s event due to illness.

“We wish him a speedy recovery,” says Mike. “It’s been a big blow. However, I can guarantee that our audience will be dazzled by his replacement, the David Rees-Williams Trio, which specialises in placing classical themes in the context of the jazz-piano trio.

“David will demonstrate his amazing virtuosity and jazz improvisation on the Spa’s Bosendorfer grand piano and the Hammond organ.”

The performance is one of three at the festival which will be recorded for national broadcast by Radio 3, on its Jazz Line Up show. The others are Gilad Atzman with the Orient Express and the Tommy Evans Orchestra.

Writing in the Evening Standard, Jon Snow said David’s rendition of Purcell’s When I am Laid in Earth “literally stole my breath.

“I have been reduced to a groupie. David played a magical set of syncopated Stanford, Bach and the ethereal Purcell. The trio far outstrips anything achieved by Jacques Loussier or the Swingles.

“They are on another plane and deserve huge recognition.”

A CD reviewer in the Independent said the trio “breathes new life into work by composers who were themselves improvisers”.