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11,629 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 764 of them this year alone and, so far, 28 this month (July 8).

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Alexander Hawkins' Ensemble @ The Cumberland. July 9th.

Alexander Hawkins (keyboards), Dom Lash (double bass), Javier Carmona (drums), Otto Fischer (guitar), Hannah Marshall (cello) & Corey Mwamba (vibes)
High up in the Lower Ouseburn Valley stands the legendary Cumberland Arms. Stunning views of the valley's 19th century industrial heritage, the hostelry offers superb beer and lots of people, al fresco, were drinking lots of it. Two thirds of the band were stuck in traffic on the M1. A duo set was, perhaps, the answer. Time for some more beer. Then the other band members arrived, late and apologetic.
Perhaps because things were running late, the gig started in low-key fashion. Not much happened in a first set book-ended by a Wadada Leo Smith composition and three pieces by Anthony Braxton. During the interval one observer suggested the music demanded 'closer listening'. It was time for some more beer.
I decided to listen more closely. Wow! This was a game of two halves - a defensive first forty five minutes then a tactical change was made at the start of the second set. It was to be all-out attack. This was stunning stuff. Javier Carmona kicked it, Dom Lash flew, Corey Mwamba enhanced his growing reputation but the Man of the Match award went to bandleader Alexander Hawkins. He played everyone off the park with a blistering performance on Emoic.
Russell.

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