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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Alyn Cosker Quartet - a Jazz North East Presentation @ The Corner House, Heaton.

Seamus Blake (ten), David Dunsmuir (gtr), Michael Janisch (bs/bs gtr.) Alyn Cosker (dms).
Pete Horsfall's review on LondonJazz more or less said it all as did Euphbass up in Glasgow so I'll try and avoid repetition.
The plus points. Seamus Blake is an absolutely superb tenor player very much in the Brecker mode. He is contemporary without resorting to the wounded Banshee sounds of so many 'forward seeking' players. As well as Brecker there was more than a hint of Rollins and Coltrane about his playing as he sailed through the changes. Indeed, had Zoot Sims been born 50 years later he may have sounded like Seamus.
Janisch we remembered from his own gig at Live Theatre during the Summer. It doesn't seem to matter whether he's on double bass or bass guitar he keeps it all together.
Dunsmuir, an excellent guitarist with technique to spare, was slightly short-changed inasmuch as he wasn't always heard clearly due to the powerhouse machine that is Alyn Cosker.
It's perhaps unfair to criticise Cosker as the room is relatively small but to these ears he could have filled The Arena volumewise. He was loud like about fffffff and then some. Indeed at times it was difficult to differentiate between solo and accompaniment.
Having said that, he is an amazing drummer who takes no prisoners. So what, I hear you ask, were the minus points?
The lighting at the Corner House is abysmal hence my lack of photos. Seamus Blake was stood at the front of the unusable stage - bathed in shadow - taking the muse above and beyond the boundaries of creation without so much as a 60w Mazda to light up his features.
But that's The Corner House these days. Rumour has it it is due for refurbishment which it certainly needs. Problem is, if and when the refurbishment takes place, will the owners still welcome the jazz that has helped to make it a worldwide name on the UK gig scene?
As well as all that, I had a cold.
Say aaagh!

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