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12,160 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1300 of them this year alone and, so far, 2 this month (Dec. 1).

Sunday, July 04, 2010

VOTNJO - Splinter @ The Bridge

Graham Hardy, Sean Hollis, Shaun Eland, Jud Downs (tpt/flg). Alex Leathard, Keith Norris, Caroline Norris, (tmb), Alan Bravey (bs tmb). Katie Hawcutt (fl), Rod Mason (alt/sop), Andy Bennett (alt/clt), Lewis Watson (ten/sop), Sue Ferris (ten/fl), Niall Armstrong (bar). Stu Collingwood (keys), Mark Williams (gtr), Andy Champion (bs), Adrian Tilbrook (dms). John Warren and James Hamilton (MD/Arr/Comp)
An evening of such sheer delight that the only let down lay in the failure of Roget's Thesaurus (4th edition) to provide adequate superlatives - I seem to recall Johnny Mercer finding similar shortcomings in Webster's Dictionary.
Lewis Watson as always excelled on tenor and soprano although super slim Sue Ferris also had impressive moments. Rod Mason whizzed around on alto and curved sop and Andy Bennett too let fly early on. Guesting with the reeds was flautist Katie Hawcutt who was heard to good effect on the Causeway Suite of which more later.
Both Graham Hardy and Jud Downs made their mark on trumpet and flugel but this band isn't just a collection of soloists strung together - it is a cohesive unit that, in the strength of its ensemble playing alone, must be comparable with any band anywhere. In the confines of the upper room at the Bridge Hotel it is mind-blowing (in the best possible sense).
Credit for this must be accorded the laconic, laid-back, John Warren.
His compositions and arrangements have, as ever, provided the backbone of the organisation's pad.
Tonight however, John willingly shared the limelight with James Hamilton a young, Leeds based Irishman whose arrangements and compositions were worthy of someone twice his age.
I don't know how old James is but I'd guess late teens early twenties - it is irrelevant - his music bears the mark of experience and maturity, an amazing achievement at any age.
Tonight's second set was built around the aforementioned Causeway Suite inspired by the stone pillared natural wonder in Antrim (I think). This suite may well be considered one of the natural wonders of the musical world.
Adrian Tilbrook, drummer and driving force behind this amazing organisation, enthused about James Hamilton prior to the concert - as is his wont - and his plaudits weren't misplaced as the six movements unfolded in a tapestry of colour and contrast, excitement and evolution - musical mastery.
A fitting way to bring the first Splinter season to a close.
Lance

1 comment :

Russell said...

Hi Lance

What a place to hear the Voice of the North! Small room, loud big band! It shouldn't work but it does - here's to the next time.

Russell

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