Monday, 9 January 2017

A four-star review of the new "Dudley" CD in The Observer last Sunday

A few weeks ago I mentioned that a CD I recorded with the Chris Ingham Quartet called simply, "Dudley" was about to be released. Well, it's officially out and I'm pleased to say it got a four-star review from Dave Gelly in The Observer last Sunday. You can read that at the link below.


Alas, ministerial duties means I'm only able to play on a couple of the live dates but the excellent bass player Geoff Gascoyne has taken over the bass chair for those gigs, something for which I'm very grateful. Anway you can get a copy of the CD at the following link should you be so minded . . .

Chris Ingham: piano
Paul Higgs: trumpet
George Double: drums
Andrew J. Brown: bass

I also wrote the liner notes for this release and paste them below for your interest.

Dudley Moore, beloved comic actor, we all know about. 

Perhaps fewer know about Dudley Moore, pianist — the virtuoso brilliantly exploiting the stylistic possibilities gifted to him by Errol Garner and Oscar Peterson in late night sessions at Peter Cook’s Establishment Club in 1960s Soho, dazzling appearances on BBC TV’s Not Only But Also and the sparkling Decca trio recordings.

And perhaps fewer still, Dudley Moore, composer — purveyor of quirky, imaginative jazz originals and the witty music for Bedazzled and 30 Is A Dangerous Age, Cynthia, nuanced movie scores far superior to the movies themselves.

In preparing a recording celebrating the music of Dudley, we were tempted to pay homage to his 1960s piano-trio style. After all, Chris, George and I had all been indelibly influenced by the very particular, tight-knit, hard-swinging playing of Dudley, bassist Pete McGurk and drummer Chris Karan. However, whilst exploring the tunes with Paul on trumpet, we began to discover the richness of his compositions and understand a more authentic, and perhaps more revealing way of entering into Dudley’s musical world. 

As part of that process we took time to read something about the man’s complex and highly conflicted life, one filled with shades of light and dark, joy and woe. Here is not the place to explore any details of this, but what is musically relevant was the way we found these same shades expressed in his compositions. Some of his pieces are, of course, quintessential expressions of the bright, optimistic, swinging ‘60s in which Dudley came to fame, but others are deeply poignant, personal expressions of a darker, more complex world, whilst elsewhere you’ll find a unique and bittersweet mix of the two.

It is this emotional range and depth that has made playing Dudley's music a rather intimate and heartfelt pleasure for all of us and, we sincerely hope, for you too.

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