Cameron Vale, Gig Review. Capstone Theatre, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10

The art of the Progressive is not limited to the sole sphere of Rock and whilst it would seem out of place to put it in the same bracket as pop, couple it with electro fusion, Rap or even dare to try to suggest that Classical wander down the Progressive route, in Jazz it is mysteriously connected, two styles, seemingly different and yet full of ambient colour and mind blowing effect that it is arguably a necessity of form worth exploring.

To come across it in its pomp and glory is to feel the hope swell up and find a home worth basking in, to find a field of music that houses it with panache, is to be celebrated as if winning a trophy or a side bet in which you were the only one with faith. In Cameron Vale’s progressive thoughts, Jazz is not stuck in its valiant heyday, cursing its routine luck as it thought of as some alien beast only truly loved by an impossible few. Instead it feels enlightened, flourishing with anticipation and open-minded about its liberal past; it is not so much progressive, it is informing the next generation that it is more than alright to experiment, not to be stuck in a dark room with a language that is thought by some to be out-dated and over exposed.

Jazz never truly went away, it just became a byword for a type of elitism in which it never truly sat comfortably in, the fault then being it self-perpetuated its own myth by not being seen as able to change; ironic as the whole point of the medium is to do whatever the hell you want as long as you start and finish together on time.

Cameron Vale offer a way out of that and perhaps with a small gesture of unknown thanks to the likes of Brand X, the music they offer is intelligent and coursing with possibilities, an unknown land in which to meander with politeness and then smile at the anarchic sensitivity on offer. In tracks such as their set openers, Citadel and Tinker, the brand new single Polyglot and the excellent A Galactic Pot Healer, Cameron Vale offered the 4th International Jazz Festival crowd at the Capstone Theatre a huge resounding reason in which to praise the new breed.

A distinctive set, one that was versatile and expressive; a winning combination in every way it is looked upon.

Ian D. Hall