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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Scarborough Jazz Festival Day One

The sea was in an unforgiving mood and the waves pounded the barriers and across the Promenade. Access to The Spa looked to be fraught with danger and I felt like one of those guys who seek the epicentre of a hurricane.
Fortunately, a kindly native attired in the fluorescent yellow beloved of his tribe guided me to the sanctuary of the Ocean Room.
On stage a different storm blew up in the form of the Nigel Price Organ Trio - Nigel Price (gtr), Pete Whittaker (Hammond C3), Matt Home (dms).
Opening with a bluesy number that got the feet tapping they moved into a Body and Soul variation that demonstrated just how good a guitarist Nigel Price is. The Trio won this year's Parliamentary Jazz Awards - at least they got that one right now if only the economy...
Another delight was Blossom Dearie's Sweet Georgie Fame - the first time I'd heard it without a vocal - it's a great tune on its own. Love For Sale done a la Stanley Turrentine/Grant Green was a lollapalooza - as Larry Hart once wrote and, apart from Nigel, had Pete taking the Hammond to the brink before handing over to Matt who displayed imagination and exquisite timing in his drum solo. A great way to start the festival and the question was - could one man follow this? Possibly only one man could and that was Ian Shaw (pno/vcl). Ian is more than a singer, more than a pianist, more than a stand-up (or in this case, sit-down) comic he is the epitome of all three and then some. The most unique voice I've ever encountered - some nights I hate it but other nights, and this was one of them, I love it. He held the audience from bar one of Stuck In The Middle With You, via such beauties as The Lady's In Love With You, Makin' Whoopee (with the immortal line Picture a little love nest - Goole! ) Then there was the song taught him by George Melly - Take Out Your False Teeth Baby - a hoot! Too many highlights to mention in detail and once again, after a Tom Waits encore, we said - follow that! Stan Tracey Trio w. Bobby Wellins (ten), Guy Barker (tpt) + Andy Cleyndert (bs), Clark Tracey (dms). This is how I like to hear Stan - in a blowing session. I love his extended works for groups of all sizes but most of all the relaxed atmosphere of a trio with two top horn men out front. It had been many years since I heard Bobby Wellins and I'm pleased to say he has lost none of his skills blowing good hard bop tenor. Guy, as ever, excelled not least on his ballad feature Old Folks. Stan too played well soloing fluently with the inevitable Monkish touches and I'm trying to recall the tune he played that's on the Monk's Dream album. It will drive me mad until I remember the title it goes 'dum, dum, dum - dum-dum, dum-dum, dum' then it's repeated maybe a third higher. Autumn Leaves had a fantastic piano intro before the horns went for it. Andy Cleyndert played great - does he ever do otherwise and Tracey fils soloed and supported soundly. A great opening day - even without Alan Barnes compering! Lance.

1 comment :

Rob M said...

The Monk tune was Bright Mississippi.
Rob M.

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