In London for a weekend in March, I was able to catch the Clark Tracey Quintet at the Vortext. It’s several years since I last saw Tracey with his own band, though I’ve seen him play with others’ bands several times. This gig he was in full on hard-bop mode, immediately reminiscent of Art Blakey. And like Blakey, he filled his band with youngsters. Aside from Tracey, the only member of his band I’d seen before was bassist Daniel Casimir: the rest of the quintet were Harry Bolt on piano, Chris Maddock on tenor and James Copus on trumpet.
They blew up a storm, playing bop standards mostly, with a couple of “handpicked” ballads (a running gag, I think). A really enjoyable, fun gig.
I took some photos; I couldn’t get a clear view of Clark, nor Bolt.