Jazz IS alive

Keep in touch for jazz dates and venues in the Swindon area. Please note that the blogger (who set this site up for Dave Knight) receives information second-hand and lives on the other side of the country! More information on the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jazz-Knights/544313058974889

Tuesday, 4 December 2012


This is a disc custom-made for the Christmas stocking of lovers of all aspects of the piano trio and all true believers in imaginative, questing jazz. Believe me, it’s got everything. The trio is Rob Terry on piano, Paul Jefferies on double-bass and Charlie Stratford on drums. Rob composed all seven of the tunes. The set kicks off with Meditation in G Flat Major, a number that evolves through several moods, a marked feature of Rob’s writing on this recording. It begins with a romantic classical theme which transforms itself magically with some rhythmic slight of hand from the trio into a swinging and melodic improvisation. Paul takes a brief solo before the main theme is restated. Next up, is Walking, which commences with a tiptoeing Gershwin-like figure on the piano that is then reinforced with an angular bass riff in counterpoint. The improvisation is bluesy and soulful. There’s some terrific percussion from Charlie and an arco interval from Paul. Song For Ben is a lilting composition with a very pretty melody. Rob solos inventively with a wonderful use of light and shade, a characteristic of his playing throughout the album. It’s Time opens with a bang, a forceful rhythmic statement which then calms into a slow elegant improvisation with a Spanish flavour. The tune finishes with a dynamic flourish and some great drumming from Charlie. Romance is just that, a lovely rippling composition with some exquisite playing from Rob and tasteful support from Paul and Charlie. The title track The Unexamined Life begins quietly and then the pulse builds until a tricky finger-busting line appears. The group really burns rubber during the solo. Rob and Paul then slow it down with a call and response interlude. The disc closes with He Knows, a terrific gospel tune and a sanctified culmination to a thoroughly entertaining and creative CD. Rob preaches with passion and dignity and Paul and Charlie are right there with the amens.

Rob Terry is a two-handed piano player with an extensive musical knowledge and a beautiful touch. Paul Jefferies’ bass is the big warm grounding of the group and Charlie Stratford’s inventive and mercurial drumming drives and embellishes the music’s many twists and turns. They are a tight-knit, hard-working unit and they play with one unified voice rather than as three talented individuals. Do yourself a favour and give this disc a listen, you won’t regret it.

The Rob Terry Trio will be performing at Baker St in Swindon in the New Year. Why not go along and support them.

                                                                                                   Tom Saunders.

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