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Bebop Spoken There

Monty Alexander: "I was playing what I liked. It was an era [1980s] when jazz still had that 'street corner' vitality to it." - (DownBeat March 2021)

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12,535 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 254 of them this year alone and, so far, 105 this month (Feb. 24).

Friday, April 12, 2013

Jazz at the Lit and Phil - Saxophonics.

Keith Robinson (alt/sop); Steve Summers (alt); Niall Armstrong (bar); Graeme Wilson (ten).
(Review by Lance).
An out and out demonstration of saxophone virtuosity. The fingers fairly flew as the four players negotiated the twists and turns of the complex charts with the agility of a downhill skier.
Not that it was all devil take the hindmost. There were moments of beauty and some rich harmonies but this was no conventional sax section. More like a syncopated Bach fugue or a Mozart string quartet that rocked and almost rolled.
With the exception of Night in Tunisia, Mike Mower's Yuppieville Radio and the 29th St., Saxophone Quartet's Claudia's Car, the majority of the pieces were composed and arranged by Graeme Wilson with Niall Armstrong chipping in with the train-like Miner (Minor?) Niner
A special word is called for re Armstrong. To paraphrase an old saying, the man who sells insurance has nothing like the endurance of a baritone player in a saxophone quartet! He is a one man rhythm section, providing both rhythm and harmony for the others to build on. They can take a nap or go for a walk but the bari boy has to be there constantly and, should he falter, then the ship sinks!
Niall didn't falter. Whilst Graeme, Steve and Keith were shooting for the moon he was 20,000 leagues beneath the sea. Plumbing the depths but rising to the surface to ensure the saxonauts landed safely.
Piano, bass, drums - who needs 'em?
Lance.
Next afternoon concert in the series is on May 10 and features Watson, Walker, Edis.

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