Nadim Teimoori live at East Side Jazz Club. 27 May 2014.

Nadim Teimoori is a very fine young tenor saxophonist. He graduated from The Royal College of Music with 1st Class Honours in 2012, winning their prestigious Humphrey Lyttleton Jazz Prize along the way in addition to a seat in the National Youth Jazz Orchestra.

When I saw that he was on within striking distance of home at East Side Jazz Club, I took the chance to take a look.

Ably supported by Joe Downard on bass and Chris Eldred on piano, with the ever present host, Clive Fenner on drums and a single-song guest slot for vocalist, Georgie Braggins, the musicianship of each of the performers was beyond doubt.

Teimoori plays with a very full-bodied tenor sax sound and demonstrated some fine trills and nuances which showed him to be a master of his instrument. It left me hoping that the very fine Selmer tenor that I once owned has found its way to a good home where it is well cared for and played regularly, by a better musician than me.

The set list covered a range of standards, most of which, I think, predated the hard bop era, with only Joe Henderson’s Inner Urge inhabiting the territory that I particularly enjoy. As I made my way home I pondered whether the Devil has the best jazz tunes or whether the Baptist Church tradition could stake a claim. What I did ultimately decide was that I prefer songs with passion, fire and drive to standards from the shows and the Great American Songbook. Still, you can’t win ’em all and I’d rather venture out and see good live music than stay at home with recordings all the time.

My response to this gig probably had more to do with my own musical interests than with the very high standard of the performers and I would like to see any of them play again with a different repertoire. My rating for the performance was a very partisan 6/10 because the cup of tea, although served in a fine china cup was not particularly to my taste. However, other members of the audience seemed to really enjoy themselves- so maybe it’s just me.

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