Cool jazz at The Beehive in Honiton – surely not. Cool jazz to a foot-tapping packed house – you’re kidding me, but no this is a tribute to a Jazz great and performed with style and panache by the Neil Maya Quartet. All very talented musicians who have clearly spent years honing their craft to the point were they can deliver a tight set of the compositions from Dave Brubeck’s seminal album ‘Time Out’ released in 1959. Many of the compositions were in unusual time signatures but this presented no problem to this talented group. Take 5, Unsquare Dance, Blue Rondo A La Turk and many more were faithfully rendered, each with their own subtle interpretations.
Throughout the evening Nick Carter on drums and Kevin Sanders on bass kept the band together with all the changes in time signatures and rhythms. Mixed in with these jazz standards we were also treated to original compositions from saxophonist Neil Maya – Ode to a Great Shed, and pianist Matt Carter’s tribute to the great Bill Evans. Matt is a local Honiton boy who surely has a great musical future ahead of him. His tribute to Bill Evans showed a maturity beyond his age and reflected the tragedy of Bill’s turbulent life.
A great evening and as we all spilled out into the Autumnal night with the jazz beats resonating in our hearts it was hard to believe that this was the town in the country with a city class venue in The Beehive.
Review by David Perkins
Photo of Matt Carter by Mark Tipping