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Born This Day
Louis Armstrong and Steve Andrews.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Scarborough Jazz Festival - Sunday Afternoon

The Matt Anderson Quintet - Songs of The Ridings. Anderson (ten); Jamil Sheriff (pno); John Marley (bs); Sam Gardner (dms); Kate Bleivik (vcl).
Commissioned by Creative North Yorkshire and Scarborough Jazz Festival this was a bold and ambitious work composed and arranged by leader Anderson. His compositional ideas are good and his tenor sound warm although on Cold Spell it was appropriately - cool! Kari Bleivik's vocal lines added a Winstonian feel to the ensembles.
On bass John Marley delivered a strong harmonic foundation propelled along by Gardner's drums whilst, on piano, Sheriff, proved, as he has done at previous Scarborough Festival, what an inventive player he is.
A fine set and yet...
...on a descriptive suite such as this I felt that the leader should have spoken more about the background or, if time was prohibitive, to have provided programme notes such as Tommy Evans did in the evening.
That aside, it was musically sound.
Andreas Varady Quartet. Andreas Varady (lead gtr); Bandy Varady (rhythm gtr); Mike Janisch (bs); David Lyttle (dms).
The latest wunderkind on der block came with much hype and we posed the question - could he live up to it?
The answer - a resounding YES!
14 year-old, he simply dazzled and delighted with a mix of standards and originals (yes he composes too!). A Day in New York, Body and Soul, Giant Steps, Blues For Everard(?), In a Sentimental Mood - I'd love to play one of those numbers for a panel of guitarists in a Blindfold Test!
Drums and bass stepped down to allow Andreas do a couple of Django duets with his dad. To put things into perspective - Varady senior wasn't even around in Django's day!
The sound balance could have been better but if you've got the ears you hear it as it should be. By the end I felt elated - this was like getting in on the ground floor of a talent that will surely mature into greatness.
Christine Tobin Quartet - Tobin (vcls); Phil Robson (gtr); Dave Whitford (bs); Gene Caldarazzo (dms).
It fell to Phil Robson to pick up the guitar plectrum and I couldn't help thinking of the old show biz adage - never follow a kid or a dog act! However, Phil has been around long enough to know that he need fear no one on guitar and he provided just the right cushion for Tobin's vocals. Christine has a strong earthy voice that scored heavily on You Go To My Head, Peyroux's Dance Me To The End of Love, Fight No More (sung in Portuguese with a clever Ipanema tag on the end.) 
Caldarazzo and Whitford were the ideal rhythm section with Phil Robson soloing fluently.
So far it had been a great festival with an exciting evening ahead.
Lance.

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