The Rhosygilwen Concert Hall, replete with Steinway D concert grand piano, is a labour of love of eco entrepreneur, Glen Peters. He and his wife, Brenda, are great hosts, and I’ve been lucky to have played here four times now: with Brubecks Play Brubeck, Darius Brubeck Quartet, and twice with my quartet - first time augmented by singer Anita Wardell, and this time with Iain Mackenzie. Glen puts on a program varying from popular classical music, folk to “accessible” jazz, hence the addition of the singers to my usual instrumental lineup to make the program more accessible to the audience.
Iain Mackenzie brought some very well constructed and clearly written charts, which we rehearsed in the afternoon. Some of them also had unison scat choruses of Chet Baker solos. He was extremely on the case, so this part of the process ran very smoothly.
We played 3 quartet tunes in the first set, and two in the second, before getting Iain on to do the bulk of the work! The crowd was a bit thin compared to by previous visits, and they were also very reserved to show their appreciation, which always makes you a little uneasy as a performer (are they enjoying this?) It seemed from the comments after that they were, although I do find the performance process more enjoyable and vibrant when I’m able to relax safe in the knowledge that what we’re doing is communicating.