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Bebop Spoken There

Charlie Musselwhite: "I used to see these posters in the windows of the [Chicago] blues clubs advertising Elmore James and Muddy Waters which knocked me out. I was making a note of the addresses and at night I'd go back and listen to the blues until 4-5 in the morning." - (Blues Matters! Aug/Sep 2021)

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Postage

13,530 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 948 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (July 31).

Friday, June 07, 2013

Toyshop @ The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle.. June 2, 2013

Tom Dennis (trumpet), Michael Underwood (tenor saxophone), Sam James (keyboards), Conor Chaplin (double bass) & Corrie Dick (drums)
(Review by Russell).
A toyshop, a youngster’s dream. I'll have two sets of, let me see…hard bop, please. Toyshop, a quintet, got together at Trinity London, each member having fingers in numerous jazz jam jars and of late have acquired a taste for the music of the late, great, hard bop trumpeter Clifford Brown.
It was t-shirts and jeans on the stand but the music was that of the sharp-suited American heroes of the era; Brown, Roach, Blakey, Rollins and co.. Toyshop, unassuming, polite and so, so good. Cool, committed to the music, the frontline horns played unamplified and piano, bass and drums had their volume levels spot-on right from the start.
The music? Classic Clifford with one or two tremendous original compositions for good measure. The bass and drums pairing of Conor Chaplin and Corrie Dick (no strangers to Tyneside) were beyond good, swinging it as it should be swung. Pianist Sam James is one to watch - and hear - in future. An assured, listening player (a minor irritation in the context of this gig was the Fender Rhodes-like sound), James will surely become an established name on the scene.
Tenor saxophonist Michael Underwood - and MC on the night - blew the coolest of cool complementing trumpeter Tom Brownie Dennis’ superbly crafted solos. The name Dennis invites comparison with the north east’s top trumpet player Noel Dennis (currently exiled north of the border). The Dennis trumpeters share at least one musical trait - the perfectly conceived and executed extended solo. Tom Dennis is destined for the premier league of British trumpet players.
The tunes - including the historic gems Jacqui, Parisian Thoroughfare and Daahoud interspersed with Corrie Dick compositions Mo Dhachaidh and Wee Red Car - were a delight from start to finish. The audience loved it. Dennis said of the Splinter night at the Bridge: Lovely room. He went on to say it was the band’s most enjoyable night of their tour. Any jazz club promoter anywhere couldn't go wrong with Toyshop. A delight.
Russell.

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