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Born This Day
Louis Armstrong and Steve Andrews.

Monday, April 07, 2014

GIJF – Day Two Late Night Club @ the Jazz Café

(Review by Russell/Photos by Mike Tilley)
The Gateshead International Jazz Festival is in danger of becoming a round-the-clock, twenty four hour event! The Saturday evening/Sunday morning jam session at the Jazz Café went on into the early hours. Downstairs the Slowlight Quartet entertained the early arrivals (11:00 pm) and the newly refurbished upstairs room opened to the public for the first time at midnight with the committed and the curious out in force. The festival’s big hitters were absent (did anyone really expect Esperanza Spalding to show up?) but some of Tyneside’s finest were present, keen to have a blow. 
The house rhythm section for the occasion – Alan Law (piano), John Pope (double bass, electric bass, suit and tie) and drummer Tom Chapman – invited a succession of musicians to join them on the stand and a most encouraging factor was the age profile, most in their twenties and thirties.
A list, in no particular order, of those on the session: Guitarist Simon Stephenson (first to throw his hat into the ring), tenors Matt Forster, Paul Gowland and Jamie Toms, Liam Gaughan (bass), Strictly Smokin’ MD Michael Lamb, Newcastle University final year music students Jamie Stockbridge (alto) and Adam Stapleford (drums), pianist James Harrison and Caff regular Lindsay Hannon. Festival organisers put in an appearance (at the bar) and couldn’t fail to be impressed with Mike Tilley’s efforts to get the venue ready on time (a week or so earlier the place resembled a building site).
The festival’s late night club has moved around in recent years, the Jazz Café could well be its long term home. A jam session isn’t a jam session without Monk. Well You Needn’t heard the horns, chorus upon chorus, rhythm section cookin’. Trumpeter Michael Lamb all but blew the roof off, jam session cheers, cool nods of approval, smiles, laughter, more beer. Lindsay Hannon, hot foot from Sage Gateshead, got up to sing Basin Street Blues. Introduced as the ‘incomparable Lindsay Hannon’, the boys on the stand were having none of that insisting she was the ‘incompetent LH’ then the ‘incomprehensible LH’. We’ll stick with the ‘incomparable’.
Lamb’s late night muted trumpet pitched just right, Alan Law played it just right (as always), as did JP (the Man in the Suit) and up stepped Paul Gowland to have his say. The Chicken went round and round the Jazz Café farmyard led by the stupendous piano playing of James Harrison. Liam Gaughan’s bass lines did Jaco pround and the horns earned their farmyard corn. The house lights went up, whatever time it was (around stupid o’clock) it was too early. What a night!  Photos.            
Russell.          

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