Concert Review – The Chris Bowden Quartet

Review and Photography by Ben Macnair

The critically acclaimed Alto Saxophonist and composer Chris Bowden put his all-star quartet through their paces when he appeared at Lichfield’s Cathedral Hotel on Wednesday, October 16th.
An attentive and appreciative heard the talents and skills of Keyboard player Matt Ratcliffe, bassist Chris Mapp and drummer Neil Bullock, as well as special guest musician Nick Dewhurst on Trumpet, as they played music from Bowden’s most recent release Unlikely Being.
With the pieces ranging from long-form explorations of timbre and ensemble playing, to interesting versions of Jazz standards, and some jazz playing tinged with blues, and swing there was something here for the most ardent of Jazz fans. Although this was Chris Bowden’s concert, he was more than generous with the spotlight, sharing it many times with the musicians in the band, from the sonic squiggle of Matt Ratcliffe’s keyboards during The Old Gods, or the swing generated by bass and drums during the upbeat Lemonade.
Nick Dewhurst joined the band for an incendiary reading of Sweet Georgia Brown, which included some deft exchanges on trumpet and saxophone, and some great unison playing between the two leading musicians.

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