Review: Eddie Parker’s Mister Vertigo at the 606 Club

Eddie Parker's Mister Vertigo
(606 Club, Chelsea. 26th June 2014. Review by Joe Stoddart)

Eddie Parker bought his Mister Vertigo project to London last night with a performance at the 606 Club. Joined by Julian Nicholas (Soprano & Tenor saxes), Kit Downes (Piano), John Parricelli (Guitar), Steve Watts (Electric Bass) and Mike Pickering (Drums), the group  demonstrated not only fine musicianship individually and collectively, but also highlighted the quality, appeal and variety of Parker’s compositions.

Parker describes Fat Man Galliard, as being“quite long and it goes all over the place,”. The tune does indeed range widely, from the opening Elizabethan style section with shifting time signatures, to a piano solo underpinned by a sparse groove into a swing section with a fantastic double improvisation from flute and soprano sax. However, the listener never loses the feel of it being one complete piece. After the ethereal Chant, which saw the band members abandon their main instruments for wind chimes and finger cymbals before a haunting melody played on alto flute, the band continued in a more groove based vein before taking things down with beautiful ballad Cortege, dedicated to the late Pete Saberton.

Ishtar was probably the most Loose Tubes-esque tune in the set. Named after the Assyrian goddess of love and war, the tune seemed to embody not only the musical style but also the spirit of the recently revived 80’s phenomenon with solos from Nicholas, Downes and Parker all leading to a building rocky riff before an abrupt finish.

The rock feel continued with Earthman, a homage to John McLaughlin and his Mahavishnu Orchestra. Particularly citing the orchestra’s ability to ‘make odd time signatures sound normal’, the 5/4 groove pounded away while Parricelli channelled his inner McLaughlin with a white hot solo. The band finished with One For Joe, a Black Market tinged tribute to Weather Report frontman Joe Zawinul. The joyful groove built through a crescendo of solos before a final blast of the melody rounding off the night in perfect fashion.


Expression (Coltrane)
Für Elaine
Delius Myth
Fat Man Galliard
Tidenham Chase
No More Mirrors
One For Joe

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