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Update on Pat Coleman

April 5, 2009

coleman-5-2009-poster-1I caught Pat Coleman’s show last night at Hermann’s in Victoria and can report that the new quintet he’s put together with the double-barreled horn power of Mike Allen (tenor sax) and Monik Nordine (alto sax) is well worth seeing as they continue their tour up island.

Allen and Nordine are both formidable players, and when you add a rhythm section that features Ken Lister on bass and Buff Allen on drums, it doesn’t get much better. Although as Lister said following the show, it’s “early in the gigging season” (after a term of teaching at Vancouver Island University), he was locked right in with Allen and together they created a driving rhythm that got tighter and more insistent as the night went on.

And then there’s Coleman himself on guitar. He is such a virtuoso on one of the most challenging of all jazz instruments that at times he’s simply breathtaking. Liquid lines and inventive chord voicings pour from his fingers, never becoming repetitive or tiresome. It seems like the guy could solo up and down the fretboard for two hours straight and never repeat a lick. It’s no wonder he’s considered a guitar player’s guitarist.

The group plays a challenging repertoire that includes a number of original tunes penned by Coleman and Nordine (Nordine also did all the horn arrangements). It definitely wasn’t a night of stock standards that we’ve heard a million times, although there were delightful takes on a few of those standards, including Coleman’s wonderfully imaginative Bela by Bartok. There’s plenty here for fans deeply into jazz and those who just want to hear some good tunes played extremely well.

The Hermann’s gig was only the group’s second time together (the Saturna Island gig didn’t work out due to scheduling problems), and if it’s any indication of what’s to come, the folks up island are in for a treat.

The quintet is in Nanaimo tonight, Sunday, April 5, (6pm) at the Red Martini Grill, and as reported previously, will be in Courtenay on Friday, April 10 (8:30 pm) at Joe’s Garage, followed by a show on Lasqueti Island on Saturday, April 11 (8:00 pm) at the Blue Roof. Before hitting the Comox Valley, they return to Vancouver for a show at Vancouver Community College on Wednesday, April 8 at 1:30 pm. All the gig details are available at Ken Lister’s website http://www.kenlister.com/

Oh, and one aside: at least three formidable performers in their own right (Joe Coughlin, Brent Jarvis, and Roy Styffe) were in the audience last night digging the show – a sure sign that this is one group not to be missed.

Copyright Rick Gibbs and Island Jazz

Categories: Events
  1. April 6, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Hi Rick!
    I was in Seattle so regrettably missed the Hermann’s gig – understand it was terrific! Look for upcoming gigs at Jazz Vespers and Church Mice Productions in Mill Bay at Sylvan United Church. The calendar is sizzling!
    Roy will be at Sylvan with John MacArthur and Ken Lister on the 25th of this month.
    Best to you and your new venture and see you soon.

  2. April 6, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Hi Rick, Hi Roy, it was great to see you at the gig Roy, wish we’d had more of a chance to chat. I agree with your comment about getting out to live gigs, its something I really miss about my pre-domestic life. Don’t forget to get out and hear Roy play at Hermann’s and other venues on Vancouver Island – Roy is one of our great Canadian alto stylists and just happens to be local…

    all the best,

  3. April 5, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Hi Rick,
    It was great to see you at Hermann’s at Pat Coleman’s gig.
    Earlier in the day I had remarked to a student of mine that the best way to achive a great sound on saxophone is to go out to a live gig and hear great players really blowing lots of air through their horns.
    It was great to hear Monique and Mike sending out great energy and great creative “aural hallucinations”!!!
    Thanks for a great band and great music!

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