In my review of last week’s superb concert at The Spin, I highlighted how the ‘pick-up’ combo of house-band-plus-guest gelled like a touring unit. This week’s gig took that to a whole different level.

From the down beat, The Spin Trio, fronted by the virtuosic guitarist Nigel Price, fizzed with a unified electricity which immediately communicated to the thrilled audience.

Straight in with a burning version of Wes Montgomery’s Jingles, Price’s first solo made clear why he had been voted in the British Jazz Awards as The Best Guitarist: flowing lines of endless invention would develop into chord melodies – with no technical impediments whatsoever.

Nigel has a bluesy edge to his playing that coloured all of the pieces in a most appealing way, this coming to the fore in his interpretation of Heartstrings by Milt Jackson. It’s an infrequently performed jazz standard that has a harmonic structure that demands the improviser to ooze with a slinky bluesy-ness: Nigel did not fail.

The band’s rendition of Love For Sale was like no other I’ve heard, switching back and forth seamlessly between a Cuban 6/8 feel and an utterly up-tempo swing! It was in these fast sections (along with the rapidity of Montgomory’s S.O.S) where the crowd was wowed – beyond Price’s sheer musicality – by his inexhaustible dexterity on the guitar.

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The house band of Oli Hayhurst on bass, Paul Cavaciuti on drums and Pete Oxley on guitar were energised throughout. Not only were they perfectly supportive to Price’s leadership, but when soloing, were equally compelling. One might consider a two-guitar front line-up is one guitar too many; I think that anybody that was there would agree that in this case, these two made for an excellent pairing. While Price played with the authentic sound and drive of the greatest players of that genre (George Benson, Pat Martino etc.), Oxley proved to be the perfect foil, his playing derived perhaps more from the European E.C.M school of playing – but in no way any less engaging for us listeners.

Hayhurst took some solos throughout the evening which had a rare clarity and direction that was a further treat for the audience and Cavaciuti was clearly having an inspired performance, playing consistently at his very best!A night of magic, from beginning to end.