Gareth Lockrane: Doing That Grooveyard Thing
"Bheki was this larger than life personality," he adds. "The sheer projection and whole compositional scope of his musicfor me, he is one of those great writers. His compositions have this inevitable flow about them. Once you've heard the whole thing, it's like that was the only way it could have gone, no matter how many surprising twists there are in the tunes. It just feels that it could only have gone that way. These are the only gigs I've done where the whole audience was singing along to these great hooks and all the musicians are sweating it out on stage with their eyes fixed on the charts. It was a great time for me."
In fact, the times seem to get better for Lockrane. His reputation is growing and The Strutwill take that to a higher level still. Whether it's playing in Grooveyard or his septet, leading his own big band or playing with Phil Robson's quintet, Lockrane is becoming a key figure in a very healthy UK jazz scene. Playing opposite figures like Mark Turner or with giants like Jack DeJohnette inspires him but it doesn't faze him. He also seems like a really nice guy. He laughs easily in a way that suggests that he takes his music more seriously than he does himself. Growing up in the British Midlands in a strong and supportive family environment has given him roots which give his writingand his playinga depth and a quality unusual in one still so young. Like the man, like the music, in every sense.
Gareth Lockrane's Grooveyard, The Strut (Whirlwind, 2012)
Phil Robson, The Immeasurable Code (Whirlwind, 2011)
Gareth Lockrane Septet, No Messin' (Gailforce, 2008)
Tom Richards Orchestra, Smoke and Mirrors (Candid, 2007)
Grooveyard, Put The Cat Out (Gailforce, 2003)