Chris Minh Doky, Pizza Express Jazz Club, London

Infectious and elegant, shaking and stirring

When the makers of the next Bond film decide how to shake up the famous Monty Norman theme they should ignore the electric jiggery-pokery they are so regularly tempted to use. The Danish wunderkind double bassist Chris Minh Doky opened the first night of his tour by showing how to refresh 007's vodka martini in the setting of a genuinely superstar New York jazz trio, featuring Makoto Ozone on piano and Jeff "Tain" Watts on drums. After the main theme was stated slowly over a bed of feathery cymbal semi-quavers, Doky's arrangement from his new album Cinematique roared into a fast swing during the solos, a Latin explosion reminding us of the fate that awaits all Bond villains, before a pause – and then that utterly distinctive final chord was left trailing in the air.

It was an accomplished beginning to an evening that revealed what magic can be extracted from the most familiar of tunes. This was partly due to Doky's romantic treatment of ballads, "One Day I'll Fly Away" introduced by a long rubato bass intro, for instance, with normal tempo later ushered in by Ozone's ethereal sprinkling of notes at the higher extreme of the piano. It takes a romantic bordering on the sentimental to give "Nothing to Lose" from Blake Edwards's The Party its due, and Doky proved himself such as he took the melody of the number, the kind of perfect porcelain waif of a tune that Henry Mancini writes so well. Doky's compositional strength lies in this area too, as "Rain", a beautiful study in tristesse, showed.

But this was a trio of equals; quite a feat when "Tain" Watts is behind the kit. Resembling Yaphet Kotto's Dr Kananga in Live and Let Die, the same lascivious evil grin alternating with a ferocious scowl, Watts dominates the kit with the assertiveness of Art Blakey, and if Blakey has an heir, Watts is that man. As well as the command, the use of cross-rhythms and the firecracking rolls, Watts shares the sheer joyous abandon with which Blakey used to hit those drums. "You gonna swing," he seems to say, "whether you like it or not."

Because he is capable of such elegance and unobtrusive comping, it would be easy to underrate Ozone. But his sound is deceptively big beneath its spare exterior, which he rolled back to great effect in his "Lazy Uncle", a Monkish tune with stops. Ozone and Watts pushed the rhythm till it spilled over the bar lines, their shapes only showing themselves again after the waters had receded.

Ending with Jaco Pastorius's "Teen Town", in which Doky flexed his chops by taking Pastorius's lightning electric bass lines on its less flexible acoustic cousin, it was evident that this is a trio capable of handling literally anything. Their delight in playing together was infectious, and the smallish audience departed into the Soho night with a glow that no wintry landscape could extinguish.

Arts and Entertainment

Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington plays MI5 agent Will Holloway in Spooks: The Greater Good

'You can't count on anyone making it out alive'film
Arts and Entertainment
War veteran and father of Peter and Laust Thoger Jensen played by Lars Mikkelson

TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success

Arts and Entertainment
Carey Mulligan in Far From The Madding Crowd
FilmCarey Mulligan’s Bathsheba would fit in better in The Hunger Games
Arts and Entertainment
Pandas-on-heat: Mary Ramsden's contribution is intended to evoke the compound the beasts smear around their habitat
Iart'm Here But You've Gone exhibition has invited artists to produce perfumes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
    'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

    'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

    British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
    Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

    Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

    Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
    14 best kids' hoodies

    14 best kids' hoodies

    Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

    The acceptable face of the Emirates

    Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk