Review: Superb musicians headline jazz club

Leon Garnett
Leon Garnett

Splash Point Jazz Club Eastbourne held its latest gig last Wednesday at the Fishermen’s Club on Royal Parade, with two of the UK’s top jazz musicians as headliners.

Leon Greening (piano) and Alex Garnett (tenor sax) came to Eastbourne, played, and conquered a large and enthusiastic audience who clearly know their jazz.

Supported by the excellent pairing of Nigel Thomas (bass) and Alex Eberhard (drums), theirs was a programme of jazz standards with the odd less well-known tune thrown in.

Surely there was nobody present for Whom, Always, Just Friends or April in Paris were new – it was familiar territory but this band played them with a fresh approach and plenty of drive.

Leon Greening is an amazing pianist who plays solos that are fast and inventive.

He is a sure-fire crowd pleaser, and he certainly played up a storm at the Fishermen’s.

Leon and Alex Garnett play together frequently around the London clubs and have a seamless musical partnership where each knows what the other is about to do, and this ability to work well together was much in evidence in their Eastbourne gig.

Alex is a very lyrical sax player with a gorgeous sound, which suited their programme very well throughout.

There was plenty of space too for bass and drum solos, and mention must be made of the superb contributions there from local heroes Nigel Thomas and Alex Eberhard.

As a frontman, Alex Garnett also makes an amusing host, and he can sing a lyric pretty convincingly too, further endearing himself to an audience that was already on side right from the opening number.

Clearly, this is a line-up that will be making a return visit to Eastbourne.

Splash Point Jazz Club presents jazz at the Fishermen’s Club on the last Wednesday of each month, with an impressive programme coming up which features some of the finest musicians in the UK.

For details see: www.splashpointjazz.club

Review by Annette Keen