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Bebop Spoken There

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Gateshead International Jazz Festival – Saturday March 24 Trio Libero & Courtney Pine’s Europa

Trio Libero: Andy Sheppard (alto/sop), Michel Benita (bs), Sebastian Rochford (dms).
Andy Sheppard and Courtney Pine have come a long way since the days of the 1980s so-called British jazz boom. They are more than survivors, they are leading lights globally and their high profile ensured a large turn-out in the magnificent surroundings of the 1700 seat Hall One. Sheppard works in many contexts; commissioned projects to his enduring association with Carla Bley being but one. 
The Sage Gateshead saw him in the company of French bass virtuoso Michel Benita and a percussionist once of a neighbouring parish (Newcastle College) Sebasitian Rochford as Trio Libero. Sheppard alternated between alto and soprano saxophones in a low-level performance. The wonderful acoustics of the large space drew the listener to the music as if in a small recital room. Benita’s tasteful double bass playing worked in tandem with Rochford’s delicate brush work (this wasn’t Polar Bear – forget it). A performance of great warmth (with a brilliant, restrained solo from Rochford) won the affection of the audience.
Courtney Pine’s Europa: Courtney Pine (bass clarinet), Zoe Rahman (piano), Cameron Pierre (guitar & mandolin), Darren Taylor (double bass); Robert Fordjour (drums)
He came, he saw, he conquered. Pine the Sartorial strode the stage, playing to the crowd. Pine’s facility on the instrument is something to behold. Pine the Showman garnered applause for his band mates: Zoe Rahman, a band leader in her own right, Cameron Pierre, a wonderful guitarist (and no mug on mandolin) took centre stage (Pine off in the wings) to suggest that should George Benson’s crown slip he would be ready to seize the throne and bass and drums pairing Darren Taylor and Robert Fordjour received deserved plaudits. Pine praised Gateshead – The Sage, the people and the commitment to the music exemplified by the festival. This was a love-in and what, I ask, is wrong with that?
Russell

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