Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

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Fred Wesley's Generations: The Hideaway London 16/01/2016

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The certified badman of the bone Mr Fred Wesley must certainly like South London because he was back in the area this time Streatham (The Hideaway) as opposed to Peckham (Bussey Building his last London gig).Someone no doubt, has been sending him 'Only Fools & Horses' clips,as it's clearly become his favourite part of town.

The venue was packed to see this living legend and funky Fred was keen to show off his new band a trio called 'Generations' featuring his new secret weapon,organist Leonardi Corradi a whizzkid wonder (24years old) who played hammond like a 60 year old Blue Note great! To play hot hammond is one thing,but to be so adept at bass pedals is a marvel to behold.What he has achieved so far,in his few short years is frankly breathtaking.Somehow he has got to the essence of the instrument,the core if you like and he's accomplished an exciting mix of greasy chitlin circuit chops heralding him as possibly the new european vanguard of soul jazz.Of course it helps have Wesley blowing effortlessly on top enjoying the jazz groove of tunes such as Jimmy Smith's 'Midnight Special' a lesson in chicago shuffle and the groovetastic Wes Montgomery classic 'Road Song'.To say he was in his element would be understating things at 72 years old Fred is clearly still enjoying his music and relishing playing bop.

Drummer Tony Hatch is a hard hitter and his motoric beats keep the music grounded however he can be a little too heavy at times especially on the boogaloos where a lighter touch is preferable.However he is just the ticket when Fred doles out the funk treat 'House Party' where Match and Wesley shine and his drum solo prior to the funk onslaught was spectacular-summoning up The Burundi Drummers of Jujuka in one fell swoop and that's no mean feat believe me!

The crowded room responded warmly to the funk and one by one, they got up and shook everything they've got which proves however much Wesley tries to steer it jazz side it's still the funk we love him for.Nobody solos better over those JB's groove than he does (erm ok let's include Maceo too!) He's perpetually finding new ways to make audiences feel good.No matter what kinds of problems you might be going through, or what kinds of problems the world might be going through, music is the place where we can all meet,escape and enjoy this special atmosphere Wesley exudes this,it's his bond and that's why he is loved so much,keep on keeping on brother there's lashings of collard greens and ham waiting for you,just say the word as I know you've given up food for funk Fred!! A top drawer night....in one of the best jazz clubs around!
Words Emrys Baird

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