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Monday, September 26, 2011

Scarborough Jazz Festival - Saturday Evening.

NYJO - National Youth Jazz Orchestra.
What a cracking straight down the middle set of big band jazz. Superb arrangements and tremendous soloists - jazz lives as long as these guys (and gals) are around. Tenor player Nadim Tiemoori had a great ride on Hush by Nikki Iles; Callum Au impressed with his trombone solo on Bill - a swingy Mark Nightingale arrangement and Reuben Fowler drew deeply into the emotional bag with Kenny Wheeler's take on Embraceable You.
These were but a few of the highlights with vocalist Emma Smith adding a few more on That Old Black Magic, That Old Devil Moon and If I Had You.
A band that can hold its head high in any company.
Mina Agossi Trio - Mina Agossi (vcl); Stephane Guery (gtr); Eric Jacot (bs) + special guest Sue Richardson (tpt).
Another, mainly, French importation showcasing the incredible Mina who simply exudes orgasmic vitality as she bounces around the stage. I never thought I'd hear the old Jimmy Dorsey, Bob Eberly, Helen O'Connell number Green Eyes sung quite like this - and in French! The Waters of March - compelling, head-banging jazz was how a neighbour described it.
Sanity was resumed for a while when Sue Richardson joined the trio to blow some cool trumpet on There's a Lull in my Life.
Sue hung around and, after a blistering blues they went into The Saints! These were no ordinary Saints Marching in - they were the Devil Incarnate as it erupted into a near Free Form finale.
I needed a pint of Festival Bitter after that!
David Rees-Williams Trio - Rees-Williams (pno/org); Phil Laslett (dms); Neil Francis (bs).
This was to have been Jacques Louissier but the Frenchman isn't in good health so David Rees-Williams stepped in and proved to be a worthy replacement.
Handel, Purcell, Wesley, Ravel and, of course, Bach were given the respectful treatment they deserved before being gently ushered into improvisational mode. Somewhere along the way Autumn Leaves appeared and all in all it was a good set.
Lance.

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