Piano Plus - Music for Every Occasion
'Intoxicating, soothing, laid back and triumphant'
The Richard Attenborough Centre took on the mantle of a jazz club as Embrace Arts presented the East Midlands' leading jazz pianist Brian Humpherson to an enthusiastic audience. Humpherson was joined on stage by trumpeter Don Blakeson, Martin Slipp on double bass and drummer Andrew Sime.
Special guest singer Nicole van de Kuinder completed the line-up with her bluesy voice and bright personality. Throughout the evening, Don Blakeson's brilliant trumpet improvisations were a knock-out; the first number, the upbeat Bernie's Tune was no exception.
Blue Prelude set melancholy lyrics against a gentle melody with excellent use of the muted trumpet. It was followed by Besame Mucho, van de Kuinder singing this gentle love song with delicate feeling.
A soothing When Lights Are Low showcased the quartet's own effective bridge passage and was followed by Polkadots and Moonbeams, Blakeson once again demonstrating imagination and flair in the trumpet part. A trio arrangement of Night and Day provided the opportunity for Humpherson's piano to be prominent in a superb arrangement.
An inspired, up-tempo arrangement of The Lady is a Tramp led to a more gentle pace in I've BeenHere Before. The evening finished with intoxicating performances of You Go to My Head, Just in Time and There Will Never be Another You.
Laid back music of quality from musicians who clearly felt at ease with each other.

Leicester Mercury March 2011