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Sunday, June 08, 2014

Alex Hutton, Andy Champion & David Carnegie @ The Jazz Café. June 7

(Review by Russell/Photo courtesy of Mike Tilley).
Mid afternoon the heavens opened, threatening to wash away the Newcastle Community Green Festival and local league cricket matches were promptly abandoned. The big gig on the night was at the Jazz Café – rain, rain, go away – and the possibility of a no-show crossed the mind with musicians and audience stranded, awaiting the emergency services to rescue them from rooftops, north, south, east and west.
An hour or so ahead of gig time the rain stopped – from deluge to bone dry in no time. In the Jazz Café an on loan Gretsch drum kit was being assembled (thanks to loanee Mr Eric Stutt). Short-notice dep bass player Andy Champion was on the premises and Edinburgh-based drummer David Carnegie (once of the Parish of Tyneside) would soon arrive. DC walked into the Caff  smiling, unfailingly polite, one hell of a drummer. The trio’s pianist – Alex Hutton – breezed in, renewing acquaintance with DC and meeting up with AC for a first gig together with this line-up.
Hutton had brought some charts of his own compositions and after a quick chat, pointing out this and that, we were ready to go. The first tune – Fox House – featured a solo from Champion. Hutton looked around, a nod of approval, this was going to be something special! Straight into Autumn Fires, the trio nicely warmed-up. Hutton chatted with the audience, sign-posting a church bells effect as a coda to Clouds. Sure enough, bells, They could have been ringing out from St Mary’s Cathedral across the road!
Hutton is a wonderful two-handed player and he appeared to have four hands on Straight No Chaser. Wow! This was good. Champion at full tilt laid down a solo that defied belief (the betting is Hutton couldn’t believe he was working in such company) and Carnegie’s fizzing display (triplets aplenty) had Mr Stutt in raptures. The number had an old school feel to it with shouts of encouragement from the floor, urging the trio to ever greater heights. The applause immense, like another apocalyptic thunderstorm! Hutton said: You liked that one, then!  You bet!
Second set, Fugue No.2, Body and Soul, the same amazingly high standard. Swinging Oscar Peterson, Erroll Garner, George Shearing and Alex Hutton. JJ (for Jean Jacques Burnel) replete with fleeting quotes (When the Saints) and to close a memorable occasion Underneath the Apple Trees. Hutton, Champion and Carnegie should do it again, soon.  
Russell.

2 comments :

Lance said...

Did Alex use the house piano?

Unknown said...

Yup ! I will send you a snap. mike

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