What a night Tuesday, 19 June, 2018 proved to be. Derek Nash arrived at The Talking Heads in Southampton to entertain the audience of Southampton Jazz Club, and entertain us he did. I had only previously heard Derek on CD but have been fortunate enough to hear his rhythm section live in other settings. Put the two together on stage at The Talking Heads and you get one of the best live gigs I have heard in some time.
Derek Nash – Saxaphones (from baritone to soprano)
Dave Newton – Piano
Geoff Gasgoyne – Bass
Sebastiaan de Krom – Drums
The evening started with a Geoff Gasgoyne penned tuned entitled “Keep It To Yourself” – which you really shouldn’t. Derek Nash took the lead before solos from Dave Newton and then the composer himself all the while being supported by the wonderful drumming of Sebastiaan de Krom. Next was the Oscar Peterson tune “Hallelujah Time” with Derek on alto. This was a very lively tune with Dave’s fingers flying over the keys, what we might expect from a Peterson tune. Derek was ducking and diving as he played, really getting into the music, and we got our first drum solo of the evening from Sebastiaan. This really was a tune to lift the spirits.
The Yellow Jackets recorded the tune “Homecoming”, which this evening was led by Dave on piano with a very simple but beautiful opening melody. Derek then came in on alto sax and we were treated to a stunning jazz waltz, which I had heard on the “You Got To Dig It To Dig It, You Dig?” album but live really as something else: CDs good, live music better! We then got “Swing Thing” with Sebastiaan leading form the drum kit using brushes. The tune is aptly named with wonderful call and response playing between the drummer and each member of the band; great to listen to and watch. The set finished with the title track form the album “You Got To Dig It To Dig It, You Dig?”, a phrase once uttered by Thelonious Monk. This was a great example of blues/soul groove fusion and a fitting end to a very good first set.
The second set opened with the Gerry Mulligan tune “Five Brothers”. Dave Newton played melody while Derek Nash played counterpoint on the baritone sax. The band really played around with this one and looked like they were thoroughly enjoying doing so. Derek mentioned a couple of times a new album yet to be released, no album title given, and on that album will be a jazz ballad “October” featuring Derek on tenor sax. There was no showboating on this track, just wonderful sax playing and piano accompaniment. The quartet playing this evening recorded the album “Joyriding” in 2011and we heard, from that release, the New Orleans feel “Voodoo Rex”, complete with Bo Diddly style hand clapping. The audience joined in with this one, though some of the hand clapping did go off beat a few times. This was party time and party we did!
Two tunes left to go. The first was the Neal Hefti number “Li’ Darlin'”, which opened with a Sebastiaan de Krom drum solo. A good tune played mid tempo, often slowed down by the big bands of the past. The final number of the evening was the Hank Mobley tune “Soul Station”, a great jazz standard with which to finish a fantastic evening of live jazz at Southampton Jazz Club. Derek Nash is a very amiable musician and an excellent sax player and band leader. He spent time during the interval, and after the show, talking to the audience and engaged with the club on social media before and after the gig: an all round good egg I would say. Thank you Derek!