I went with a friend to the Spin Jazz Club in Oxford. The obligatory semi-slum, dark paint peeling off distressed walls, banks of unused spots amongst which a brass chandelier hangs impotently, and an overworked bar selling concoctions whose names promise paralysis. A surprisingly wide age range – more so that in the classical concerts.
The star of the show, the 25-year old Dane, Marius Neset, was simply astonishing. He moves like a rag doll high on speed, and plays with a passionate virtuosity, drawing sounds from the saxophone that ranged from singing voices to growling animals, from deep echoes to birds tweeting. Somehow, he played duets with himself in a kind of counterpoint. The quartet kept up with him!
I felt as I did when I heard Andreas Scholl, the German counter-tenor, sing for the first time. Walking on like a gawky schoolboy, he promised little. But the first notes were those of an angel.
It takes only a few moments to know that someone special has arrived.