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Born This Day
Louis Armstrong and Steve Andrews.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Joshua Redman Trio - Guy Barker Jazz Orchestra.

This was a fitting finale to the 5th. Gateshead Jazz Festival with two totally different bands both of whom kicked ass in their own way.
Joshua Redman (tenor/soprano), Reuben Rogers (bass) & Greg Hutchinson (drums) played a storming set without straying too far from the bounds of convention. Redman's tenor technique is not far short of prodigious and with only double bass to anchor him harmonically he fairly soared through the changes. "Sophisticated Lady" was luscious whilst "Surrey With The Fringe" was not without a glance in the direction of Sonny Rollins. His sole outing on soprano - "Ghost" revealed him as having the best soprano sound I have ever heard! In the absence of keyboard or guitar Rogers had to be a tower of strength and he was throughout. Likewise Hutchinson who had a belter of a solo in the final number.
The Guy Barker Jazz Orchestra, the "Orchestra in Residence", devoted their set to Guy's "Amadeus Project". The suite is based on Mozartian operatic characters rather than Wolfgang Amadeus' actual music so I doubt if the composer turned over in his grave although he may have thought about it.
As it was, the resultant work provided some of the most exciting music of the festival - particularly the finale which surely raised the roof of the Sage by a good six feet. If the brass didn't achieve that feat then surely the audience's applause did. Amazingly, a gentleman sitting next to me barely moved his right hand in the direction of his left leading me to conclude that he was either dead or had wandered in from the Alan Barnes "Clarinet Marmalade" concert by mistake. What a shame the two concerts coincided.
Great weekend.
Lance

2 comments :

Lance said...

For the record - the Guy Barker Jazz Orchestra: Barker (conductor),
Rosario Giuliani, Graeme Blevins (alto), Tim Garland, Per (Texas), Johansson (ten), Phil Todd (bar).
Nathan Bray, Tom Rees Roberts, Byron Wallen, Pat White (tpts).
Mark Frost, Barnaby Dickinson, Alistair White (tmb). Jim Watson/Brian Kellock (pno). Phil Donkin (bs). Ralph Salmins (dms).

Lance said...

Joshua Redman is doing the Radio 3 interview slot on Saturday April 5 16:00 GMT.

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