STORM OUTSIDE … AND ANOTHER STORM INSIDE
Dean Clough, Halifax
Dreams of European union may have been straining at the seams in recent weeks, but the pan-continental sounds of jazz at Dean Clough spoke with eloquence of the power of international harmony.
The band, a five-piece drawn from Scandinavia, Russia and, yes, Halifax, revealed a cosmopolitan variety both heartwarming and invigorating to a healthy audience braving the latest round of storms.
Fortunately this musical typhoon only set the pulse racing with local bassman Steve Kershaw laying down a deliciously firm foundation and allowing his musical mates free, and sometimes furious, rein.
Kershaw is one third of Stekpanna, a trio forged when he met Swedish drummer Petter Svärd and Danish guitarist Mads Kjølby at the LA Musicians’ Institute 10 years ago. For this tour they’ve added the prodigious talents of a Russian father-and-son duo.
Leonid Vintskevitch on piano has brought saxophonist Nikolai into the jazz fold and the results are impressive indeed.
I wouldn’t claim that this is the perfect tongue-and-groove quintet, but the spirit was infectious.
The younger Vintskevitch delivers passing impressions of Sanborn, Maceo Parker and Garbarek in torrents of irrepressible notes. Less may be more, but this reed player is content to challenge that premise for the time being.
His dad, too, is an extraordinary performer, taking his seat at the keyboard and miraculously transforming the instrument from barrel organ to harpsichord, hinting at stride and ragtime, and recalling Bill Evans on the way.
Richard Brough, Halifax Evening Courier, 09/09/08