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COFID- 19

In the current climate we are doing our best to keep everyone up to date. All gigs, as we all know, are off.

However, good old YouTube has plenty to offer both old and new to help us survive whilst housebound. Plus now is a good time to stock up on your CDs.

Also, keep an eye out for live streaming sessions.

Alternatively, you could do as they do in Italy and sing from your balcony.

Today

As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Alter Ego @ The Globe - Dec. 19

Dave Hignett (tpt/flug); Keith Robinson (alt); Niall Armstrong (ten/fl); Andy Hawking (pno); Tony Abell (bs); David Francis (dms).
(Review by Peter Ninnim/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew).
What a night at the Globe!
Visiting the Globe is like struggling through the jungle of the Congo; you fight your way between creepers, avoid dangerous animals, duck low hanging branches and then finally arrive at a clearing in the forest to see sparkling in a shaft of sunlight a priceless jewel! OK, so that’s a bit over the top but the Globe is really a jewel in the Newcastle music field.
Last night the Globe featured a band providing a cornucopia of delights! It was like a beautiful Christmas present, wrapped in silver paper and tied with red ribbons! And when the box was opened out popped Alter Ego!
I count myself fortunate to have been there.
The first set kicked off with Roll Call a perfect up tempo opening closely followed by J. J. Johnson's In walked Horace. The New York Jazz Giants' Beatitudes was next; this is a driving Latin jazz tune and featured Dave Hignett playing his socks off on trumpet . The energetic first set included a fine swinging version of Benny Golson’s Blues March. This overrated number can be boring but certainly not in these hands. Solos from Keith Robinson on Alto and Niall Armstrong on tenor were beautifully crafted and the alternate march and swing sections were well handled by Dave Francis on drums. It’s not possible to mention the entire first set but it ended with Bobby Watson's Wheel Within a Wheel written for the Jazz Messengers.
After a short interval the band was even better; perhaps the fact that the club had filled up with an enthusiastic and vociferous audience had something to do with that. The set opened with an outstanding version of Hit and Run and I see that I have just written “wow!” next to it on the set list. Dave Hignett's trumpet playing was reaching for the stars and with great attack and Niall Armstrong’s tenor playing sparkled. In fact the whole band played like they had stuffed fire crackers down their trousers in the whole of the second set. Andy Hawking on piano featured in a lovely version of Monk’s Budini. I thought that he really did the tune justice. Two of Niall Armstrong’s compositions followed, Undertone featuring Niall himself and Dave Hignett on Flugel , and Mustard Marsh which included fine Bass playing by Tony Abell. Nice to hear an electric bass played with great taste; not always the case. The set concluded with a tune in 3/4 Coastal Breeze. Nice drumming throughout and Niall on Flute and the outstanding alto playing of Keith Robinson. Keith was all over the instrument and at times seemed to have an extra hand there was so much great jazz going on. The encore was another great Bobby Watson piece A Bittadose featuring the whole band in great ensemble playing with this shuffle style hit.
This was a great gig, substantially better than the Clark Tracey performance earlier this year. Compared with that it was a tonic. Best gig I’ve been to since Jazz Machine’s gig at Number 28 in August; and I was playing in that!
One last word. The sound throughout was really well balanced and this makes such a difference. Thank you to the Globe and the Band.
Peter N.

4 comments :

Roly said...

This excellent band played a great gig at Blaydon in April.

Lance said...

Must have been quite a gig as I thought the Clark Tracey band were plenty good!

Ken Drew (on f/b) said...

What a great review !! although I wouldn't go so far to say it was 'substantially better than the Clark Tracey performance earlier this year' - maybe they equalled them in many respects - fine musicians playing tremendously well as One, the overall energy and the impact they had on the audience (and vice-versa). But what a great Gig !!!

Ashington Jazz Club said...

Next gig for Alter Ego

8pm Wednesday 7th January @ Ashington Jazz Club

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