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Bebop Spoken There

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

You Couldn't Write The Script... The Safe Sextet (minus 2) - Splinter @ The Bridge Hotel.

John Rowland (ten), Alan Law (pno), Barry Ascroft (bs. gtr.), Steve Doyle (dms).
This was one of those nights where you couldn't write the script and if you did it would be for Spike Jones and his City Slickers!
The only difference tonight was that, for all the slings, arrows and music stands that befell them, the four piece sextet played music that swung.
Although now working as a quintet at their Jazz Café Friday night residency, they have retained their Safe Sextet nomenclature as it has more pizazz than say The Quintessential Quintet and besides, Steve's spent much time and energy fixing the letters to the head of his bass drum.
However, misfortune struck before a note was blown. Trumpet-playing leader Don Forbes was taken ill and so then there were four.
This meant that a new set list had to be made out with the onus falling on John Rowland. and, as if this wasn't enough, during the actual playing, music stands fell over frequently without, it has to be said, anyone missing a beat. 'Tis my feeling that the traditional music stands that have stood (!) the test of time for say the Hallé Orchestra are no longer practical for the gigster and nor do they enhance things visually.
Fortunately, the music itself more than made up for outrageous fortune and stirring renditions of Bernie's Tune, Blue Bossa, Four, Come Rain or Come Shine, a Clifford Brown/Max Roach number - Quicksilver - and several more concluding with Blue Monk made this a night when the Safe Sextet triumphed magnificently over adversity.
On piano, Alan Law played brilliantly; big fat chords and tension building crescendos that merged into delicate diminuendos. With Alan on keys a quartet really does sound like six.
John Rowland blew some tough tenor whilst Steve and Barry drove him all the way.
They will be back in the Autumn.
In the meantime best wishes to Don, I'd been looking forward to hearing him blowing trumpet and flugel.
Lance.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Don (aka. billy billy) is AMAZING!!!!!!!!

you rock billy billy! (^-^)

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