Iain tutored Dan at Cardiff and is currently helping the trio (amongst others) as they try to break into the big time. They played a lot of Dan's own compositions with a handful of old favourites thrown in. Mainly extended pieces exploring the themes of the music, none of your three minute 'pop' songs here, but it does sometimes make me wonder - when does jazz become new music?
I love Iain's sax playing but found some of his routines a little staid; I missed some of his more tricksy breathing styles and his use of the sax as a percussion instrument, but, having said that, he must feel his job here is to support the younger players and not to outshine them.
Dan is a good guitarist, not up with the greats yet but, as his own compositions
especially showed, well able to hold his own.
Aidan Thorne played double bass pretty well, better with stuff he knew, a little hesitant with the not so familiar, older stuff, as his influences seem to be more jazz/rock based, but he caught on pretty quickly and gave some fine solos.
I found Gethin Jones on the percussion a little too intrusive at times, fine on his solos and with some songs giving just the right amount of support to the rest of the band. Also, occasionally, he can appear bored and his playing somewhat lacklustre. He's an exceptional drummer who might be more comfortable leading a band rather than backing one.
There was some good interplay between the musicians, although at times I got the impression the trio were playing stuff just to humour their mentor, far preferring their own arrangements. But the band did gel and the impression was of a whole better than the composite parts which make them very much a band to be seen.
A pleasant gig on a wintry night, which might explain the rather sparse audience, and the lack of the usual barrel of real ale at the bar only slightly marred the evening's entertainment.