Rarely has a performer at South Holland Centre been able to soothe and win over an audience just by the sheer warmth of their personality.
But that was the case on Friday with trumpeter Jay Phelps and his Projections of Miles show in Spalding which also featured pianist Leon Greening, bass player Tim Thornton, drummer Shane Forbes, alto-saxophonist Nathaniel Facey and tenor sax man Soweto Kinch.
The sextet’s mission was to celebrate the music of jazz legend Miles Davis, spanning four decades of albums recorded by the American who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.
You didn’t have to be an authority on Miles Davis or his music to appreciate the craftmanship demonstrated by Phelps and his band, best illustrated by their expert rendering of what has become Davis’s signature song Autumn Leaves.
But there were also surprises in the shape of the bouncing Feed the Kilimanjaro, Circle and Big Time.
In the end, it was Kinch’s impromptu rap of Davis album titles shouted out by the audience that won this reviewer over and brought the house down on a memorable night out in the Fens.
If only jazz music was always this good.