Trudy Lile is always in demand whether it’s cruise liner gigs, winery gigs or bar and club gigs. Last night she was at the CJC with Kevin Field on piano, Cameron McArthur on bass and Ron Samsom drums. This particular quartet is a regular lineup for Lile and it is hardly surprising. Musicians like this are a gift to a leader, as each of them has pulling power, but they operate as a high functioning unit when together. Lile is also an energetic and engaging performer and the enthusiasm she radiates is always evident in her music.
As a singer/flutist Lile often favours standards or latin material, as these suit voice and flute so well. She still surprises though with appealing lessor known tunes or sometimes popular tunes which lend themselves to wider explorations under her coaxing. She is keen on finding new standards from the latter and we often hear material from sources not usually tapped by improvising musicians. This use of popular material is becoming more commonplace and another recent example of this was Benny Lackner opening with a number from the latest Bowie album. Lile also brought some interesting new compositions to the gig.
The clubs audience numbers could have been better during the last month, perhaps they were saving for the festival, but Lile being a true professional worked the room and fed off the interaction. She has an abundance of charm, humorous banter and above all musicality. The band responded to her lead with enthusiasm, amping up their performances to match hers. Kevin Field is the sort of pianist who understands the accompanists role, comping sparingly at times and launching into heart stopping solos at others with McArthur and Samsom responding to each nuance. I have posted a clip from the gig which is a favourite of Lile’s. An Eliane Alias number titled ‘An Up Dawn’ from the album ‘The Three Americas’.
Footnote: My ability to comprehend the softly spoken human voice with any accuracy has declined in recent years; probably due to the endless procession of loud gigs in intimate spaces that I attend. What I heard Lile announce was a tune called “An Up Storm’ and so I labeled the You Tube clip accordingly. When I saw Lile a few days later she laughingly told me what the actual title was. Unfortunately I misheard that as well, as ‘An Up Swarm’. The clip now correctly refers to ‘An Up Dawn’, but I do like my rogue re-titling. Perhaps Trudy Lile could reharm the tune, utilising my imaginative and thought-provoking title(s)? I am sure Eliane wouldn’t mind. There is more than a hint of Chaos Theory in what I had originally settled on; An up swarm of bees in Brazil causing a storm in Auckland.
Who: Trudy Lile (leader, flute, vocals), Kevin Field (piano), Cameron McArthur (bass), Ron Samsom (drums)
Where: CJC (Creative Jazz Club), Britomart 1885 basement, Auckland New Zealand 15th October 2014