Firebird Quartet, Gig Review. Capstone Theatre, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *

Jazz might get its detractors, the sneering or the snide remarks in which it has taken with grace and humour over the decades, a medium which really does not get the support it fully deserves or the appreciation of the skill involved. It is perhaps easy to be critical of something which on the face of it offers only a sense of imagination, it is though in the very heart of that sincere vision that Jazz truly gets under the skin in such a way that it ripples with intellect and meaning.

The Liverpool International Jazz Festival has always offered this sense of open mindedness; it has allowed the fan to wean itself away from the diet imposed upon them by the well meaning and the sarcastic and accepted that the need for the genre to exist is not just a right but a privilege.

Into that mixture of imagination and fine musical dining comes the excellent Firebird Quartet, a foursome who take the beauty and elegance of jazz and give it a sense of propriety, of expectant high and one to which is marvellous to entertain as the foyer inside the Capstone plays host to this dynamic approach laid out by the band.

As the music flowed in front of the full foyer, the only room left vacant was the stairs leading to the auditorium, and even then nobody would have said a word out of place had people stumbled into the knowledge that they would be able to enjoy the music on offer from such a place of vacant surroundings.

For those who stayed after the two hour experience of Maya Jazz in the auditorium, Firebird Quartet continued the festival with grace and passion, the stirrings of all good relationships rolled into the arms of a band who knew exactly what they were doing and how they stood with ease in the face of such ferocious competition.

In tracks such as Lights, Dodge The Cobra, The Dunes and the fist clenching cool of the tune with no name, Firebird Quartet excelled, the short introduction to a band of note may have been too short to really find true love but it was the kiss of relationship which was allowed to grow without hindrance.

A wonderful continuation of music in the afternoon at the Liverpool International Jazz Festival, a sheer joy of a performance by Firebird Quartet, one that wonderfully received and enjoyed immensely by the crowd at the Capstone Theatre.

Ian D. Hall