Modern jazz can be a hard sell, but there was a buzz of anticipation and a full house at The Old Market for the city debut of The Impossible Gentlemen.

This four piece jazz ensemble is an Anglo-American super group led by the gifted Gwilym Simcock whose day job is professor of jazz piano at London’s Royal Academy.

With Salford’s Mike Walker on guitar, Simcock has added Chicago bassist Steve Rodby, whose CV boasts 13 Grammys, and New York drummer Adam Nussbaum, who has collaborated with greats such as Stan Getz and Dizzy Gillespie. It’s a grooved combination which has stuck, building up a reputation through three albums and several British and continental tours.

They performed no old hits or comfortable standards, but rather a fresh minted selection of sophisticated ensemble works for keyboard and electric guitar, taken from their new album recorded in Sussex.

The set allowed plenty of room for extended solos, warmly appreciated by an educated audience of dedicated jazzers. The real magic, however, was achieved through teamwork, especially on the subtle funk of Let’s Get Deluxe and the slow crescendo finale of Propane Jane.

The Oscar nominated movie Whiplash - about an young jazz drummer suffering under the thumb of a bullying conductor - has put this music in the spotlight in a way not seen since Ron Burgundy pulled out his jazz flute.

This audience enjoyed authentic jazz drumming without the blood and narcissism of Whiplash, thanks to the masterful and relaxed Nussbaum, a much better role model for aspiring young jazzers.

It’s good to see AAA-rated jazz drawing an enthusiastic audience. As Nussbaum said afterwards: “We need to keep this music alive.”