Review: Torus at the Great Northern Railway Tavern

Torus: Jonathan Gee, Mick Sexton, Trevor Taylor, Gary Plumley


Torus
(Great Northern Railway Tavern. 18th April 2013. Review by Brian Blain)

The great Torus revival is gathering momentum,and, on a recent Thursday night at the new venue in Hornsey’s Great Northern  Railway Tavern, a good sized crowd was treated to a blistering programme out of the 80’s that largely passed the English audience by at the time.

Jonathan Gee filled the piano chair which originally belonged to the great Pete Jacobson in the then Essex based band and though the piano’s projection in the first set left something to be desired,  Gee’s natural energy and ebullience was a dynamic addition to a kicking rhythm section all evening.

Although the leader is bassist Mick Sexton - behind the scenes stalwart of the Way Out West  musicians’ collective- Jaco Pastorious’ classic Three Views of a Secret was largely given over to Gary Plumley, surely the best under the radar tenor saxophonist around, and throughout both sets on great favourites like Steps Ahead’s Islands, a funky ballad by Mike Mainieri, Keith Jarrett’s Questar and even the straight ahead swing of Tea Bag, when Sexton’s long note bass lines really sang, Plumley was passionate, melodically sure, and both free or blues soaked funky ,as the material demanded.

FMR label boss Southend drummer Trevor Taylor mainly functions in the free improv area which meant that his fills and patterns always had the element of  surprise without losing grip on the groove held steady by Sexton.

In sum; a wonderful night of jazz of the kind that I never expected to hear on the live circuit again.

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