Dennis Rollins and The Nick Dewhurst Band at Cathedral Hotel

by Madonna

Critically-acclaimed jazz musician Dennis Rollins received exceptional support from The Nick Dewhurst Band during his impressive performance at the Lichfield Jazz and Blues Festival.

The set featured a mix of originals, covers, and the world premiere of a couple of new compositions, highlighting the synergy between trombone, electric guitar, and a funk back-beat.


They began with Nick Dewhurst’s original “Bird Street Blues,” characterized by its New Orleans-style second line rhythm and bluesy unison playing on trombone and trumpet.


Paul Robinson’s tone poem “Forgotten Times” showcased his melodic side, with idiomatic soloing from the rest of the group enhancing the piece.


Tom Lindsay displayed his vocal talents during “Fly Me to the Moon,” which included joyful trombone interjections. A new original, “Sunset with Santana,” featured a Latin rhythm and catchy central motif, while “Heat-Wave,” aptly named, closed the first half with increased energy.

The second half’s musical highlight was an instrumental rendition of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car.” The minimal, tasteful accompaniment included a rolling, Bruce Hornsby-like keyboard solo and near-telepathic interplay among the ensemble, demonstrating the band’s ability to tackle unexpected repertoire with finesse.

Paul Robinson’s second piece, “Azuri,” was more frenetic, with almost African rhythms and dynamic bass and keyboard parts supporting a joyful central refrain.

“Slide and Glide,” another new composition, displayed the band’s funkier side, with inventive central figures on guitar and trombone carrying the piece.

Dennis Rollins’ original “Shake it Down” concluded the second half, before the expected encore, “One for Dennis,” demonstrated the remarkable cohesion of the instruments and players.


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