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Bebop Spoken There

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Paul Towndrow's Newology @ the Corner House

Paul Towndrow (alto), Mark McKnight (gtr), Steve Hamilton (Fender Rhodes), Mark Hodgson (bass), Alyn Cosker (drums) + Ryan Quigley (trumpet).
A gig that lived up to and beyond expectations. Contemporary Hard Bop verging on Free. This is where jazz should be - pushing frontiers without forgetting the past.
The first set saw Newology firing on all cylinders to a select audience who had tunnelled out of the World Cup football that was being shown in the bar of the Corner House and indeed most bars within the global radius.
Paul Towndrow blew some earth scorching alto. Incredible technique, the ideas seemed to flow endlessly - if he'd been a footballer Scotland would be in the World Cup! Mark McKnight wailed on guitar lifting the tension with each solo. Steve Hamilton's choice of Fender Rhodes seems a little strange in this day and age. Don't get me wrong - Steve did everything possible with that, the hippest of dinosaurs, but I think I'd have liked a little more of a piano sound.
Still, that's just a passing thought that Alan Glen planted and which I went along with.
Mark Hodgson, bass, Alyn Cosker, drums, - both were on top of their game - Cosker driving, powering, firing on all cylinders, cooking with gas in the ensembles and soloing with typical Scottish reserve which means no reserve at all. He was up for it!
By contrast, Hodgson, like all good bassists, was laid back yet steady soloing with great melodic feel and providing the perfect base for blast-off.
Great first set and I won a CD in the raffle.
Enter Ryan Quigley.
If HE'D been a footballer Scotland would have won the world cup!
Quigley was on song. He has a big, fat, modern sound reminiscent of Clifford Brown or Fats Navarro that remained full as he soared effortlessly through the registers unleashing a cascade of notes that were just so right - I don't think I've heard a more exciting trumpeter in recent years.
Truly a grand night.

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