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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, March 08, 2010

Jim Birkett Quartet @ The Cherry Tree Restaurant, Jesmond.

Jim Birkett (gtr), Sue Ferris (ten/fl), Neil Harland (bs), Adam Sinclair (dms).
All of Me with Sue Ferris blowing tenor like Lester made for a good starter as indeed did my Confit Belly Pork with Caramalised Apple & Black Pudding Puree.
Bye Bye Blackbird was a fitting number to bid a reluctant farewell to the Black Pudding Puree whilst lingering over a bottle of Black Sheep Ale in anticipation of things to come which, musically, included the Theme From Black Orpheus played by the all in black Sue on flute. It was a gorgeous rendition helped along by some fine guitar work from Jim Birkett.
All The Things You Are was next up and I was amazed at the ease with which La Ferris, back on tenor, effortlessly rolled out chorus after chorus on this the most awkward of changes.
The girl came through unscathed setting a high benchmark for Jim Birkett - not to mention my Pan Fried Salmon to follow.
Needless to say, Jim did the business with some blistering chorii of his own and the Salmon, served amid Potato Gnocchi Gratin, Smoked Salmon & Horseradish - a rare combination in my experience - also worked well.
There were other delights, Clifford Brown's Daahaud, a couple of my fave Ellington's - In A Sentimental Mood and Sophisticated Lady, Have You Met Miss Jones, a soft and sensuous Willow Weep For Me played on flute. All of these aperitifs put me in just the right mood for Baked Vanilla Créme Brulee.
This was absolutely mouthwatering - my tastebuds will never be quite the same again or at least not until my morning cereal.
Nor will my musical tastebuds after a flutey Nightingale Sang in Berkely Square and a Doxy a la (ish) Rollins.
To make the night complete the interval CD was by Diane Schur and the traffic lights were on green all the way home!
PS: Also compliments to the rhythm section - they were cooking on nuclear in a gentle sort of way.

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