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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, April 25, 2015

Darlington Jazz Festival. April 24: Matt Roberts Sextet plays the music of Fats Navarro

Matt Roberts (trumpet), Matt Anderson (tenor saxophone), Ben Lowman (alto saxophone), Sam Watts (keyboards), Angus Milne (double bass) & Sam Gardner (drums).
(Review by Russell).
In preview Bebop Spoken Here advised early arrival. Minutes before the start of this gig in the upstairs room at the Voodoo Café it was standing room only. All seats taken, walls lined with dozens of people, some relegated to a spot in the corridor, numbers exceeding expectations.
An air of anticipation, a ‘buzz’ in the air. Returning local hero Matt Roberts was to play the music of Fats Navarro. At a guess, his sextet’s average age would be little more than thirty, if that. And what a sextet! Familiar faces, some less so, six superb jazz musicians. 
Navarro, Tadd Dameron, Dexter Gordon, legendary names. Roberts’ band more than did justice to the bop era giants. Index introduced altoist Ben Lowman. The verdict? This guy is the ‘real deal’. A fabulous player, book him for your jazz club. Matt Anderson (tenor), to Roberts’ left in the frontline, has become well known to north east audiences. Several gigs in the region leading his own band or, as on this gig, as a sideman, his warm-toned tenor has become a familiar sound. Roberts couldn’t stop smiling; tenor to his left, alto to his right, a great frontline. In fact, it was smiles all round. These guys clearly enjoyed the music, working together and performing to a receptive crowd. Here’s a thing - a frontline working without mics. Old school or what?! The rhythm section cooked on Gas Mark 9. Sam Watts (keyboards), his face a picture of concentration, bassist Angus Milne as good a bass player as you’ll hear (a local lad to boot, from the Egglesciffe area) and drummer Sam Gardner. The tall, affable Gardner playing bop, now there’s a thing! Familiar on the scene in more contemporary contexts, the boy can play the music of the masters as well as anyone.
Symphonette, Bird’s Dexterity, The Chase – this was bop paradise. Dameron’s blues The Skunk, ballads too – As Time Goes By, Gone with the Wind. A gig to treasure, from first note to last. Smiles on the stand, smiles in the audience, superb musicianship, The 2015 Darlington Jazz Festival is off to a flyer.
Russell.

            

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