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Bebop Spoken There

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12,160 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1300 of them this year alone and, so far, 2 this month (Dec. 1).

Friday, April 13, 2012

Kit Downes Quintet @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 12 April


Kit Downes (piano), Calum Gourlay (double bass), James Maddren (drums), James Allsopp (tenor saxophone, clarinet & bass clarinet) & Lucy Railton (cello)
Bebop Spoken Here’s Hoochie Coochie Man chose to give the Lit & Phil a miss. Had he turned-up at Kit Downes’ gig he would have had to stand at the back of the room – it was busy! I can allay fears of the music heading in a direction other than some jazzers would wish. If you like the MJQ, if you like it acoustic, the Lit & Phil was the place to be! Pianist Downes began by saying how nice it was to be able to play an acoustic session in a place like the Lit & Phil. James Allsopp’s bass clarinet playing surprised many – as swinging and bluesy as you could wish to hear. – and he was no slouch on clarinet and tenor sax! Talented is the word. Bass and drums were as secure as could be; Calum Gourlay (an in demand bass player – Tommy Smith, Colin Steele) and drummer James Maddren were impeccable throughout. Maddren’s touch is quite something – a first call player, no question about it. The addition of cello worked well. Lucy Railton played it straight ahead and occasionally ‘out’. Fear not, this was nothing to frighten the horses corralled up the road at the Hoochie Coochie ranch. Indeed Downes’ inclusion of Schubert lieder worked wonderfully. So, two sets of exemplary acoustic jazz, a full room and all CDs on sale found new homes. Who said jazz isn’t like it used to be? Is the Lit & Phil the new Corner House? Whatever, this was a good night.
Russell      

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