Artist: World Service project
Venue: The black swan
Rating: * * * *
Last Sunday The Black Swan Inn, a regular live jazz venue, branched out from their traditional, standard-playing fare to host the far more contemporary WorldService Project.
The strong influence of leader Dave Morecroft was evident throughout, with his own compositions forming almost the whole of the quintet’s set. Many of his pieces were meticulously arranged, making use of a full range of time signatures and keys.
This paid off fantastically in some numbers, “Breathing Space” is a great example which featured a short, funky bassline punctuated with abrupt stops; very slickly executed. However, in others, this closely planned approach seemed to inhibit the horn players, rarely allowing them opportunity to cut loose and demonstrate their soloing talent.
However, the group are an excellent exponent of their genre. Drummer Simon Roth’s brushing was particularly smooth and Phil Merriman showed versatility on the bass, while trombonist Raph Clarkson and saxophonist Tim Ower interwove skilfully. All this, alongside Morecroft’s excellent keys soloing throughout, served to create an enjoyable and inimitable sound to be actively sought out by students of jazz. Just don’t expect too much in 4/4.