MARTIN KEMP WITH ORGANIZED CHAOS - BOTANIC GARDENS
Martin Kemp’s work with musicians across Cambridge goes back beyond the famous Mad Hatters Band of young players, keen to get a gig with the celebrated doyen of doing it right here in the school gym/ the church hall or the West Road University Concert Hall. He is a High Priest of jazz inspiration for everyone from 11 year old Parksiders to veteran returners. His newish ensemble was in cool tight order of play on a warm evening in the Botanical Gardens’ Sounds Green series for the Cambridge Music Festival. The final seasonal session comes up this Wednesday.
‘Organized Chaos’ (great name as the Donald might opine) harnesses a long lifetime of groove and takes the band to Shakespeare Sonnets, suitably funked up, through tango rhythms to the borders of jazz genres like Elvis Costello. If it’s melodic and playable it’s in.
Martin is on superb saxophone as the lynchpin of a great line up with Pete Newman on an alto sax that would dazzle Miles himself. A fabulously noisy Gavin Spence does trumpet and yes, flugelhorn with inimitable flair. Trombone is back in fashion and here blasted brilliantly by Simon Fothergill with a core keyboard alongside bass and drums a brilliant Jeremy Khan and impressively disciplined Bert Schilperoot, to get that funk flowing around the august avenues of ornamental trees and global shurbs.. A fabulous line up for a cool summer night. Swing thirties numbers interleaved with impressive nostalgic fifties Ella. With a mostly hip pacey tempo this was an impressive line up a cert for future gigs in the garden.