David Newton and his audience go together like they’ve always known each other for years. Like neighbours who can chat over the fence about anything and everything and are comfortable in each other’s company. He doesn’t tell jokes. He has no clever links between the music. He is just a nice, down to earth guy who has this phenomenal talent – he plays superlative jazz piano with notes that entertain and leave everyone spellbound.
His evening started with about three tunes without any links between. When it came to tell everyone what he’s played he remembered the last one, but forgot the first two. It didn’t matter. We all felt we knew him enough that it didn’t really matter. So everyone laughed and we carried on with the next number.
It really did feel like an intimate evening with friends where everyone knows everyone else and no one has to be careful what they say and do.
Every time a new number started, someone in front of me mouthed the title. It was almost like a competition, a guessing game which was good fun. There were also times when the excellently empathetic bassist and drummer, Clive Morton and Terry Howard would have to pick up after a long introduction. They did, and did so faultlessly as if they had rehearsed that part a million times and yet it was still so spontaneous and fresh.
There were also wonderfully inventive versions of well known songs. The Girl From Ipanema springs to mind. That started as just a ‘bossa’ and then morphed into what it was supposed to be. Where does all that creativity come from? The audience as they were leaving were nothing but complementary and although the evening was a great success musically, the attendance wasn’t as good as expected. Perhaps that was due to the change of date or evening that the night was more than chilly. Whatever the reason, it was obvious that those who were there really enjoyed what the trio had to offer – and they said so.