XPQ "Sidekicks" Album Review by The GuardianVasilis Xenopoulos/ Nigel Price Quartet: Sidekicks review – downright irresistible
4 / 5 stars
Sun 28 Jan
Put a tenor saxophonist and a guitarist together and you’ve got a band. There’s something about the combination of saxophone and electric guitar that just works. When the players are, respectively, Vasilis Xenopoulos and Nigel Price, with Dario Di Lecce on bass and Steve Brown on drums, the outcome is downright irresistible. Over the past few years the London jazz scene has become a magnet for young musicians from Europe, and Xenopoulos/Price Quartet is one of the more outstanding results.
Xenopoulos, originally from Athens, settled here in 2002, while Di Lecce arrived from Bari five years ago. Price is a dynamic guitarist, with the rare gift of instinctive empathy. His accompaniments are as incisive and inspired as his solos. Xenopoulos has a briskly fluent style which gently mellows at slower tempos. All 10 numbers are pieces associated with jazz sax-guitar duos over the years. XPQ’s version of When Joanna Loved Me is a little masterpiece, easily equal to the Paul Desmond/Jim Hall original, although quite different in approach. And O Pato, a jazz samba, sets off rhythmic sparks, with Di Lecce and Brown making some very tricky stuff sound deceptively easy.