What a night! Oxford’s Spin was ram-packed to hear Pete Oxley’s group, The Latin Brew-Up performing a lovely selection of Latin all-sorts.

Oxford guitarist Oxley is a founder member of the club and for the past two decades has supported myriad guests with The Spin Trio.

We have heard him leading his own projects (Curious Paradise and the Oxley-Meier Guitar Project) so it was a pleasure to see and hear him once again at the helm of a great band. This outfit featured the brilliant pianist Frank Harrison, the super-solid bassist Mark Hodgson and the percussion maestro, Keith Fairbairn.

The evening kicked off with the joyful Louis Bonfa number, Samba D’Orfeu. Vibrant and relaxed, they allowed Oxley to open the soloing account with his bright melodic lines, bouncing off the band’s backing.

The second piece turned up the heat with Pat Metheny’s Phase Dance – in which Harrison blew the crowd away with his flamboyant inventiveness. With Oxley at this point playing his electric 12-string guitar, the rich texture of that instrument served to enhance the lush and beautiful harmonies of the extended coda section. (Oxley also used this same guitar to great effect in the lovely folky piece by Ralph Towner, Icarus).

Percussionist Keith Fairbairn – equally commanding on the drum kit – rounded off the Mike Walker piece A Real Embrace with a show-stopping solo that held the audience entranced. He managed to play kit and various percussion instruments simultaneously, providing a smorgasbord of fascinating rhythmic colours.

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Mark Hodgson opened the second set with a lengthy improvisation on the electric bass, creating sounds and textures with the use of myriad pedals that took the listener on a journey of unexpected twists and turns. Performing the hauntingly beautiful Bruno Martino classic, Estaté, Oxley brought out his sitar guitar. The very special sounds of this instrument (which incorporates a 13-string harp) held us spellbound.

There are only two more Spin concerts in this season; on the strength of this, I’d urge you not to let these pass you by! See spinjazz.net.