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Bobby Wellins - Smoke & Mirrors

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'Smoke And Mirrors' was recorded live and throughout the day on 17th November 2011 at Dean Clough Mills, Halifax, UK. Tenor sax player Bobby Wellins and pianist Kate Williams have been working together for over five years. The CD has been widely praised by audiences and critics alike: 'The Scottish saxophonist Bobby Wellins and English pianist-composer Kate Williams sound made for each other in this collection of standard songs and originals, recorded in rehearsal and in concert at Halifax's Dean Clough arts centre last year. It is, of course, an intimate exploration of a familiar rulebook between a slow-burn saxist with leanings toward the 1950s cool school, and a quietly elegant Bill Evans-inflected pianist. But it's also about the best qualities of jazz, irrespective of style or fashion - about sharing, spontaneity, communication and surprise. Wellins's most famous recorded performance was his solo on Starless and Bible Black for Stan Tracey's Under Milk Wood suite. That unique and haunting tone - gruff yet hopeful - surfaces all over this set, from the first sparing sax phrases and coaxing piano figures of the title track. The standard While We Were Young is solemnly delicate, with Williams's classically influenced encouragement allowing Wellins to let purring, wide-spaced sounds just hang in the air. The original Minor Pennies is sinewy and boppish, the pianist's dreamy unaccompanied reverie What If has a Bill Evans fragility, and Antonio Carlos Jobim's If You Never Come to Me Again finds Wellins in his yearning, confiding element. It's an unpretentiously delightful encounter.' The Guardian, 19th July 2012.

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Smoke & Mirrors | Bobby Wellins

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