Home > Events, Reviews > Jaw-Dropping Music from the Marc Atkinson Trio

Jaw-Dropping Music from the Marc Atkinson Trio

February 2, 2010

The Marc Atkinson Trio performing in the Spencer mansion of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria on Sunday

This site doesn’t generally run a lot of concert reviews, but something has to be said about the recent appearance of the Marc Atkinson Trio at Jazz at the Gallery in Victoria.

First, however, full disclosure. As many readers will know, I’m heavily involved in the development and promotion of this series and so I am biased.

That said, I’ve heard Atkinson perform live on at least  four other occasions, but I’ve never been more impressed by the work of this trio.  Maybe it was my desire to see the series launch go well, the surprisingly good acoustics, or the intimate setting, but whatever the reason, I – and judging from their reaction – the entire audience was completely captivated and thrilled by the group’s rendering of a number of original compositions and a few covers.

It’s not just that Atkinson is so technically proficient that he can spin out seemingly impossible-to-play, breathtaking lines at will, it’s the emotional nuance and sense of humour in his work that are so engaging.  Drawing on classical, jazz, roots, and even some rock traditions, he dips into a deep well he has visited many times to surprise and delight his audience with new takes on old tunes and sensitive renderings of his own highly melodic compositions.

And, of course, he is ably supported in these explorations by Michael Hamilton’s fiery rhythm guitar work and Joey Smith’s peerless work on the bass.  It’s  really hard to imagine a better roots/jazz trio performing anywhere in the world today and I include players like France’s Bireli Lagrene in that assessment.

A side note:  Prior to this concert, we were a little concerned about  the acoustics of the Spencer mansion. With its  high ceilings and hardwood floors, it’s a very alive space, with considerable natural reverberation, somewhat akin to what you might hear in a large stairwell. We thought there might be too much echo with sound ping-ponging everywhere, but with an audience in place to dampen some of this effect, the acoustics proved to be nearly ideal, allowing every nuance of Atkinson’s awe-inspiring guitar work to be heard clearly.

This is an auspicious start to the series and I can’t wait to hear Montreal’s Marianne Trudel on Feb. 28.  Although Atkinson’s concert was sold out, tickets, including discounted subscriptions, are still available for the rest of the series.  More information can be had here.

– Rick Gibbs

Categories: Events, Reviews
  1. Sally Manning
    February 2, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    This was a fantastic concert and if it’s a harbinger of things to come, bravo!

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