The Spin Club hosted Jim Rattigan's Pavillion on the last leg of their national tour. An intimate venue, like jazz clubs around the world, its audience, made up of a majority of long time enthusiasts, nestled in for an unforgettable evening which was captivating from start to finish. The line-up consisted of composer/arranger and french horn player Jim Rattigan and his eleven-strong band whose banter created a great atmosphere.
Pavilion's ten-day tour began at The Vortex in London but personally, I felt they kept their best for last. There was a charm in the way that Rattigan introduced pieces with a story that linked his personal life with the titles of each piece. Beginning with 'Tim Buck Three' a dedication to his son who coined the phrase through to a memorable cycle challenge, the generous programme included 'Strong Tea' their latest album cover piece, followed by 'Rose' which contained a hint of Bill Frisell, slightly mellow and soothing with an enchanting clash of cymbals to finish. 'Parkwood Fair' featured a bass solo beginning and then baritone saxophone with dramatic count-ins to band members. With a rolling gesture of Rattigan's hands, the notes and sounds came cascading down and then silence was broken only by rounds of applause and cheers. 'Why Ask' hit the ground running with big sexy rhythms counterbalanced by the very subtle and engaging flugelhorn. 'Forever' gave the impression of a James Bond soundscape featuring another cameo from Robson joyously reaching into the magic stratosphere with his virtuosic horn playing. Next up was 'Shuzzed' denoting a made up childhood word meaning to be humble. The piece was a tribute to Charlie Parker, using the same chord changes as Parker's 'Confirmation'. Trombonist Sarah Williams made even more of her performance with the assistance of her attractive polka dot-embossed trombone. I'm sure there is a great story behind that particular trombone. 'Leaded Light' showcased the gutsy baritone with the image of a traffic jam revved up ever so slightly by the drummer's rhythmic antics.
The finale, or so we thought, '24/7' gave the impression we were on a steam train pulling into Oxford Station with appreciative fans about to alight. What a joyous journey it was too! Energy and entertainment to the core. “One more potato" shouted an audience member, an earlier reference to an unusual marketing strategy for selling the band's latest CD. And so to once more say farewell to the audience, the band performed a blues piece 'Mung Beans', and a healthy dose of jazz we got indeed. One and a two and a one, two, three.