Glasgow Jazz Festival: Warren Vache & Brian Kellock

Blimey, that’s it. I can die happy. I’ve just enjoyed the most sublime seventy minutes of my recent life.. thanks to American cornettist Warren Vache’s duo gig at the Glasgow Jazz Festival with the Scots piano wizard Brian Kellock.

This pair haven’t played together as a duo in almost a decade, which could explain why sparks flew during the concert, notably on a fast My Shining Hour and an equally speedy End of a Love Affair; both numbers distinguished by Kellock’s incendiary playing – outlandish, inventive and flamboyant. It acted as a touchpaper for Vache’s solos which were nothing short of dazzling, particularly on an unaccompanied section of End of a Love Affair.

However, it was the ballads that will live on in the collective memory. I’ll Be Seeing You (possibly the first live version of it that I’ve ever heard) was lifted first by Kellock, with his delicate, gentle and achingly lovely solo which was the essence of minimalism, and by Vache’s similarly poignant solo, an improvement on the original melody.

On a playful Tea for Two, the pair were so utterly in synch in their thinking and so complementary in their playing that it was difficult to believe that they hadn’t been playing it together for years. Mind you, that applied to all the tunes they played – though they wouldn’t have sounded as fresh and thrilling if they had been tried and tested.

The highlight of the evening was a heart-meltingly gorgeous interpretation of Irving Berlin’s ballad What’ll I Do? I have to confess that it was my request – and it exceeded expectations. Vache dished up the most beguiling and tender solo, and Kellock, in a supporting role, gave it the perfect setting. It truly was a thing of rare beauty – I just wish someone had recorded it.

Monday, July 4 

Over the weekend,  I was asked for some of the titles of numbers that were played on Thursday so I’ve decided to start publishing a complete list of tunes played at each concert I go to.

* You and the Night and the Music

* What’ll I Do? (request)

* Tea for Two

* My Shining Hour

* I’ll Be Seeing You

* End of a Love Affair

* The More I See You

* Body and Soul

* Skylark (request)

* blues

* We’ll Be Together Again

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