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Thursday 6: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Graham Hardy Quartet @ The Cherry Tree Restaurant.

Graham Hardy (tpt/flg), Mark Williams (gtr), Neil Harland (bs), Rob Walker (dms).
The Cherry Tree's admirable Monday night policy of presenting quality jazz and good food at the right price is one that must be applauded and is worthy of support.
Tonight's musical menu saw the Graham Hardy Quartet lay down impeccable versions of "Bye Bye Blackbird", "'Round Midnight", Clark Terry's "In Orbit", "Long Ago & Faraway", "The Touch of Your Lips", "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" and others including a delicious version of "The Star-Crossed Lovers" - Ellington's take on the Romeo & Juliet affair. Graham played flugel on this bringing out the pathos and poignancy of the young lover's doomed romance.
Mark Williams yet again displayed incredible fluency soloing with ease and inventiveness throughout. Some of his chords were surely created in heaven and rubber stamped by the devil!
Neil, as ever, unobtrusive and always swinging, keeping the pulse beating and Rob Walker adding the vital spark to the unit.
Of course at The Cherry Tree there is more than music to digest. There is food of the highest quality and it would ill-become me not to mention tonight's two-courser.
For my starter, on the owner's recommendation I opted for Smoked Chicken & Celeriac Soup with Truffle Oil. It was a good tip. I kept on the chicken run for my main course choosing Pan Fried Chicken with Tarragon & Brown Bread Sauce. Again delightful.
I should also mention that the Jazz Concert menu offers a choice of 5 starters, 5 main courses and 5 sweets (perm any 2 courses from 3).
Really amazing value with or without the jazz.
Next Monday it is the Mark Toomey Quartet. Mark on alto with Jeremy McMurray (pno), Peter Ayton (bs), Kevin O'Neil (dms).
Mark is one of the best Parker style alto players around so it looks to be another good night.
Lance.

1 comment :

cptfinch said...

I'm certainly going to try and make it when I can. Mackerel for starters, pork with noodles for main and pears in chocolate crepes for dessert. Was delicious. Music was good as well. I enjoyed the Billy Taylor number 'I wish I knew how it felt to be free'.

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