There was a full and very enthusiastic house for this splendid event at the Abbey Hall last Friday evening, when OW Owen Dawson brought his quartet, all of whom are, like Owen, current students or recent graduates of the prestigious Royal Academy of Music jazz programme. With guitarist Michael de Souza, Flo Moore on bass and Jay Davis on drums, Owen’s group gave us two sets of mellow treatments of well-known standards. Their thoughtful and sensitive improvisations were lapped up by the audience, and there were many requests for a return visit. Seated cabaret-style, the audience had been invited to bring their own food and drink: there was a pleasingly competitive element to the table-settings.
Between Owen’s two sets the school’s recently-formed Jazz Band performed their own set of five numbers, played with great gusto by Harrison Perkins & Josh Cole (saxes), Felix Kibble, guitar, Charlie Green, bass, Harrison Cole, piano and Freeman Lok, drums. They will have been inspired by Owen’s example to take things to a higher level still; we’ll look forward to hearing more.