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Bebop Spoken There

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11,767 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 907 of them this year alone and, so far, 44 this month (August 11).

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August

Wednesday 12: Happy Birthday Ros Rigby & Don Fairley.

Thursday 13: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

We Free Kings - Schmazz @ The Cluny. April 24

Toby Greenwood (tenor saxophone), Mark Chandler (trumpet & flugelhorn), Jamil Sheriff (keyboards), Richard Hammond (double bass) & Dave Walsh (drums).

(Review by Russell).
I made a bee line for Cluny 2, the Head of Steam’s subterranean annexe. We Free Kings were about to offer up gifts. Arriving in the nick of time, descending the staircase it was eerily quiet. I opened the door into pitch dark silence. Now I know Schmazz is struggling for funds but surely the gig hadn’t been cancelled at the eleventh hour? Perhaps such huge numbers had turned up to bade farewell to Schmazz that there was a last minute switch to the main venue upstairs. I wandered up to the main place and sure enough there was the regular band of Schmazz diehards. It wasn’t heaving it was just the regulars. An ‘admin error’ had listed the gig as being in the other space. So, it was to be service as usual – young, new, original, innovative and ‘interesting’. Well, well, well. What do know?
This was a jazz gig! Jazz at the Cluny! Surely not? We Free Kings, led by tenor player Toby Greenwood, played it mid-sixties Miles with occasional excursions; Blue Note, a fleeting sketch of a Rollins’ calypso, a fragment of Township jazz and a large measure of Dolphy (Funny Looking Fish). The quintet didn’t need to show off, they were cool, no blistering full on assault from these guys. This was the Paul Edis Sextet with an edge to it, just a little bit of attitude. Jamil Sheriff plays electric piano as it should be played; tone, volume and style spot-on. Greenwood’s frontline partner Mark Chandler was a revelation. He played a lot of flugel. He played it beautifully. Think Noel Dennis, Graham Hardy, Steve Waterman and you get an idea of where he’s at. The pairing of bassist Richard Hammond (commendably restrained) and drummer Dave Walsh (he’s a class act having been around the block a few times) were first class and very much part of the group sound. Greenwood’s tunes held the attention, frequently hinting at the oh so familiar, but then in a trice it was gone. Tree Frog, the gospel feel of A Child’s Place, Ten Tins, the aforementioned Funny Looking Fish and PPP were just some of the numbers from the pen of the talented tenor man. The latter tune had a tale to tell and Greenwood did so engagingly with no little mirth. PPP was otherwise known by the band as Pissed People Eating Pizza but recently has become known as Posh People Eating Pasties (much hilarity on stage that it should be ‘Parsties’). Wye aye man, a canny gig.
Russell.

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