Jamil Sheriff Trio, 2/12/16
JATP, Glyde House, Bradford

The piano trio is a common but deceptive form in jazz. Seemingly so straightforward but the legacy of so many great trios and the wealth of their invention has set a very high bar for any band. The players tonight made an immensely confident tilt at the form and left the audience assured that the North of England holds some very great talent.

They were mostly playing material showcasing their recently released CD, although they also played some older and newer stuff. Jamil’s strengths as a composer were well to the fore although the band also showed their paces with a few standards. There was really secure interplay between the players, for example during a version of “How Deep Is the Ocean”, with almost playful interactions towards the end. The enjoyment these guys appear to get from playing together is obvious. Another number, "Crazy Happy", has complex lurches and shifts of melody and form but the sureness of Dave Walsh’s percussion kept the whole thing in check. The players' rapport was especially evident in “Halloween Disco”, a new number with fast paced drumming setting a foundation for leisurely vamping and a percussive bassline, eventually resolving into a thoughtful and elegant solo by Jamil.

They conveyed huge respect for past forms and humble regard for the skills of other great musicians they encounter but there was no need for excessive humility when they can turn out music of the quality they showed tonight.

You can take a look at an old video of Jamil and his trio below. Their new album “Places Like This”, is now available as a cd or download through their bandcamp.com page ( https://jamilsheriff.bandcamp.com/releases with a “pay as you feel” price tag. That's an opportunity well worth exploring if you’re not sure if you’re really into jazz!