What a superb evening’s entertainment last Thursday (April 12) at the Swallow Theatre.
The small space perfectly suited Glasgow musician Nigel Clark’s lightly-amplified acoustic guitar, and playing entirely from memory he captivated his audience with some of the great standards, together with a few quirky items, like Bruno Martino’s Estate and Oscar Peterson’s Hymn to Freedom, which we perhaps didn’t know so well.
Nigel mostly presented his theme first in freestyle, with chords à la Bill Evans, then in rhythm, with inspired improvisations always adhering to the chord scheme. His playing combines astonishing technical virtuosity with a compelling musical imagination.
Highlights for me were the virtuosic single-line choruses in Kern’s All the things you are and in Carlos Santana’s Samba Pa Ti. Also memorable was the stunning evocation of sitar music in Lennon’s Dear Prudence and the flamenco solo in Joe Pass’s Paco de Lucia.
It’s true that Britain’s Got Talent – but it’s to be found not on Saturday evening TV but in the work of our professional orchestral and jazz performers. Nigel Clark has it in spades.
Concert sponsored by Ketview Kitchens