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Thursday 6: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Stretch Trio @ The Bridge Hotel. January 18

Andy French (tenor saxophone & EWI), Calvin Travers (guitar) & Tom Higham (drums)
(Review by Russell/photo courtesy of Ken Drew).
A young award-winning trio rocks up at the Bridge Hotel in Newcastle in the middle of January and a half-decent crowd turns-out. Two sets of original music composed by the trio (principally Andy French and Calvin Travers) opened with The River followed by a drum ‘n’ bass infused Hectic Metric. The latter wasn’t so hectic. Similarly, Travers’ In the Open made every effort to deny the band name!
The temptation to ‘stretch out’ resisted, Travers did most of the talking, the trio did lots of playing. French switched between tenor and EWI (electronic wind instrument), tenor heard more easily than EWI. Left-handed guitarist Travers did what many guitarists are unwilling/unable to do – he had all four fingers of his right hand glued to the fret board. Drummer Tom Higham had it down and Twelve Wrongs Make a Right closed  the well-received first set.
Second set: Tom Higham took the spotlight with a drum feature on Cleopatra, followed by dynamic group interplay on Tune One (the trio’s first ever tune!). A folk melody (an intentional ‘spacey sound’ with French on EWI) for some reason encouraged Travers to kick-off his shoes (his playing unimpaired). French and Higham took five, leaving band mate Travers to play solo. This was the highlight of the evening by a stretch. First class guitar playing, a match for anyone out there. The trio reunited for an up-tempo outer.
Stretch Trio are on tour. Check them out.     
Russell.          

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