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Brussels Jazz Festival 2018

Martin Longley By

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On the festival's final night, the Chicagoan trumpeter Marquis Hill led his Blacktet through a triumphant celebration of hardcore post-bop. They produced a sophisticated, slick groove, but around ten minutes into the set, saxophonist Braxton Cook released a wiry alto solo, brash and bright, tailgated by a belligerent vibraphone solo, courtesy of Joel Ross, his fast-moving shadow cast high and gigantic across the opposite wall. This began an ongoing sequence of spirited escalation, as each band member released their energies, working off each other's continually increasing power. Their funk was coiled to bounce, through Horace Silver ("Hombres") into Hill's own "Black Harvest," taken at a racing skip, replacement drummer Jonathan Pinson soloing with vibes interjections. They rested with "Maiden Voyage," taken very slowly, measured for a while, before "Minority" resumed the hurtling, dominated by the leader's most vibrantly burning solo, literally a show-stopper, as the audience demanded that this stunning outfit run over time.

Photograph Credit: Olivier Lestoquoit

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