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Liverpool Jazz Festival


Liverpool International Jazz Festival 2022

The Capstone, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, 24 February 2022

On this day Johnson curtailed all legal Covid restrictions while Putin illegally and inhumanely invaded a peaceful, democratic and free neighbour in Ukraine. On the same day Liverpool staged a brilliant international jazz festival. The 24 February, 2022 will go down as a day of misery and a little musical joy. A day to remember.


This is the first time in many years of covering events that I’ve attended a show at Liverpool’s Capstone theatre. It’s also the first time I’ve covered Liverpool’s International Jazz Festival. It also turned out to be an enjoyable and memorable visit with my first sighting of Duology. Well, I suppose I’ve given the game away in that Tim Garland and Jason Rebello more than inspired with their superb performance of original work and adventurously arranged classics.

The Capstone offers performers and patrons a truly excellent acoustic environment with logistics that enable excellent viewing for the capacity 260 audience. In fact it seemed larger than its actual capacity… The lighting was effective and judiciously subtle enabling us not only to hear accurately but to see clearly.



Tim Garland - saxophone
Jason Rebello - piano

Award-winning saxophonist Tim Garland has recorded and performed with many legendary jazz musicians including Chick Corea, Ronnie Scott, Ralph Towner, John Dankworth and Bill Bruford. Keyboardist Jason Rebello’s work has traversed the worlds of jazz and rock music. His 1990 debut record, A CLEARER VIEW, was produced by famed saxophonist Wayne Shorter and he has since gone on to record and perform live with artists such as Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel and Chaka Khan. His most notable and enduring collaborations have been with Stink and Jeff Beck.


In over thirty years of friendship both artists have toured, shared and recorded music which has substantially enhanced their artistic growth as separate artists and as band members. Such is their friendship and partnership they joined forces to record a series duets entitled Duology.

The duo’s opening gambit of self-composed ‘Brand New Day’ was nothing short of an attention-grabber with its mixed tempo and exciting playing. Garland exhibited an animated style of playing and a real emotional connection with his music. Rebello often looked over to his partner seeming to slot in with Garland’s play in what seemed to be an improvised style. It also seemed to me that both players were born with both music and instruments in their blood with natural talent to spare.


‘Two To Go’ was another brooding and brilliant original work followed by the classic tones of ‘Moon River’ with the duo’s very special treatment with Rebello stating that he didn’t want to bamboozle the audience with too many original works. This version was dominated by mournful sax and a distinctive piano solo. Both players conveyed a deep sense of emotion with every note played with Garland especially animated and demonstrative.


‘Blackbird’ arrived with an intro by Garland explaining that we were about to hear a very different and complex version. It was my highlight of the evening with its mixed pace and rocky overtones. Then Garland introduced us to the very very tall bass clarinet with its own attached stand. The tune was ‘Black Is The Colour Of My True Love’s Hair’, a classic folk tune brought up to date with a vengeance. The vibe was melancholy while the instrument’s tone was magical and mellow as it hit both bass and (surprisingly) higher notes. Rebello displayed some truly wonderful solo piano passages before another of the show’s highlights in the original composition called ‘Pearl’. Rebello explained that Garland seemed to write things in in his sleep so prolific is his writing output. Rebello also seemed to press on the piano’s mechanics to dull notes during some stupendous solo passages. This was modern jazz of the highest order.

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