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Meg Morley Trio at 606 Club

Gareth Thomas By

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Meg Morley Trio, and the Will Sach Band from the Royal Academy of Music
606 Club
London
April 10, 2018

Underground in Chelsea's cosy and rustic 606 Club, Meg Morley performed her trio's debut album, Can't Get Started, alongside Richard Sadler on double bass and Emiliano Caroselli on drums. The Australian pianist comes from a background in classical music: She has played piano for the Australian Ballet and Royal Ballet, as well as for a number of silent films. Opening this gig with the album's title track, it is clear that Morley has now in fact—contrary to what the title may suggest—made a great start into the London jazz scene.

Meg Morley's playing is characteristic of her classical training and this really came through in the rich chords that permeated many of these compositions. Tracks such as "Caged" created the vibe of a piano sonata fused with contemporary jazz, and was a great display of Morley's classical virtuosity along with the as yet unreleased "To Be Longing," and "Invention in D" -a pleasant two-part baroque inspired tune between Morley and Richard Sadler on double bass. A beautifully sophisticated style has been achieved here, a style which might be compared to the similar jazz-meets-classical approach of pianists such as Brad Mehldau. Despite this, the trio did not neglect an important aspect of jazz -the blues. The bouncing and catchy "Life Coaching" was exemplary, with an opening piano solo reminiscent of the style of Oscar Peterson.

Morley, who also has experience with silent film soundtracks—having played at the London Cinema Museum and for film festivals in Italy as well as the UK—is able to show off her theatrical ability in "Rush Hour," a piece originally composed for her solo album Through The Hours. Brilliantly depicting the rush hour of the London Underground, this started with a peaceful melody before a crescendo leading to something much more dramatic, fast-paced, and hectic, driven purposefully by Emiliano Caroselli on drums.

Marking an end to the night was a short set performed by a small group of students from the Royal Academy of Music; this was in keeping with the 606 Club's policy to provide a platform for younger musicians. The Will Sach Band are a group to watch out for, led by Sach on double bass, featuring Jonny Mansfield on vibes and Boz Martin-Jones on drums. Mansfield's tone on the vibraphone made this a cool and stylish performance, and this young trio are more than deserving of note here.

This was a great gig by both bands, and The Meg Morley Trio gave a fine live performance of their debut album. Morley is a very talented pianist and despite still being relatively fresh on the jazz scene has achieved an impressive cohesion in her trio alongside Sadler and Caroselli. Perhaps the only criticism was not having an encore planned! The Will Sach Band also showed a great deal of promise, and are a group that certainly help preserve the faith in the younger generation of jazz musicians.

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