Dutch Gypsy Jazz Legends
York Theatre Royal
9 April 2013
Reviewed by Erica Bourn
Gypsy jazz roots are found in the French cafe style music made famous by Diango Reinhardt and Stephen Grappelli in the 1930s in the Hot Club of France. In the hand of two highly skilled Dutch musicians and two equally rhythmic Scots, this music was effortlessly blended with classical, rock and celtic folk influences to create the unique sound of Dutch Gypsy Jazz Legends on Tuesday evening at the York Theatre Royal, in music I can best describe as good for the soul.
The set was opened in the formation of the Tim Kilphuis Trio, comprising of the Violinist principal and the Scots contingent of guitarist Nigel Clarke and Roy Percy on double bass. As a tried, and failed, violinist, (my parents and neighbours basically demanded that I stop as a teenager, strangled cat most accurately describes), I was in complete awe of the wizardry, and beauty, Kilphuis could conjure with his instrument.
Paulus Schafer completed the line up on the rendition of How High the Moon. Born into a Dutch Sinti (Gypsy) community, his skills were honed in the traditional way learning from other community members around the camp fire and alike, unlike Kilphuis classically based training. Equally a master of his craft, he can burn up the fret board like the best and together the overall effect was stunning.
The programme as eluded too earlier was varied, with classics such as Django's Nuages, Allman Brothers rock with a rendition of Jessica (best known as TV's Top Gear theme tune) and Copeland's Fanfare for the Common Man which led into a hoedown, a section of Skye Boat Song with Vivaldi also thrown into the mix.
Kilphuis' witty repartee eased the evening along further, and the melding of musical influences was managed with ease due to the musical understanding between the performers. Having started the evening with little knowledge or appreciation of this variant of the genre, I left having had an education, and a thoroughly enjoyable one at that.