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Saturday, February 05, 2011

Stan Tracey Duo/Trio @ Darlington Arts Centre. February 4th

Stan Tracey (piano), Clark Tracey (drums) & Andy Cleyndert (double bass) Sound Check is Stan Tracey's latest CD. It is a two disc release. The first features duets between father and son (Stan and son Clark). On the second disc the Traceys are joined by bassist Andy Cleyndert. Darlington Arts Centre booked the duo/trio to play numbers from the CD and it was good to see a near capacity audience for the occasion.
The Traceys have worked together for much of Clark Tracey's career as a professional musician and it shows; pianist and drummer, father and son, there is undoubted empathy. Stan played and Stan listened. The many times I've heard him live he listens a lot allowing the other musicians on the stand to play. This performance was no exception.
Drummer Clark can play it all and he too listens. Patterns, chases and exchanges were interwoven throughout the set and it whetted the appetite for the second set trio format.
Andy Cleyndert, standing between the two Traceys, introduced himself by way of superlative bass playing from first note to last. The opening number of the second set isn't on the CD but it was Ellington (Great Times from Tracey's 2005 release For All We Know) and with Tracey you get Ellington every time. Duke Ellington and Stan Tracey - is there anything better in the world of jazz? Other composers of note on the CD include Billy Strayhorn (of course!) and Johnny Green.
The concert drew to a close with - have a guess - Monk's Blue Monk. This was the sort of gig that would usually have me leaving the venue thinking everything was alright with the world but as Darlington's jazz supremo Peter Bevan reminded us the Arts Centre's very existence is under threat. The 'cuts' (we're all in this together, apparently) are about to be inflicted. Do your bit. Resist. Write to, well, someone. You know, a councillor, MP, the local newspaper etc and make sure you get to that jazz gig you were thinking of going to.
Russell.

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