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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Brian Molley Quartet @ the Globe, Newcastle. June 13

Brian Molley (ten/sop/clt); Tom Gibbs (pno); Mario Calibe (bs, uke); Stuart Brown (dms).
(Review by Lance).
From the opening bars of Get Happy, the chosen few - and we did feel privileged - knew that there was an evening of musical delight ahead. So what that some folks had opted for Kid Creole and the Coconuts at the Bowling Club, Mrs Brown's Boys at the Arena or Matt [Anderson] and Paul [Edis] at the Jazz Café instead of the swingingest band this side of New York (a situation soon to be changed as BMQ are off to NY to play the Rochester International Jazz Festival next Sunday as well as a couple of other Big Apple gigs)? We knew who'd got the best deal!

The Destinesia (of Fred and George): a Molley original inspired by the lives of Chopin and George Sand oozed lyricism, Molley's dry sound brought Warne Marsh to mind. Mrs Brown's boy Stuart, using mallets, brought in  Iris and her Bow (Beaux?) - a gentle Brazilian breeze that wafted across the intimate surrounds of the Globe Jazz Bar.
The mood changed for Chance of Chan and Molley switched to soprano for this portrait of Charlie Parker's widow. A boppy opus that could easily have been mistaken for a Bird rather than a Brian original.
Cara y Cruz brought the set to a close with belters from all four guys.
A chance to chat with Brian Molley and to wish him well for his trip across the pond.
The strangely titled When I Talk About Swimming opened the second set followed by  a gorgeous September Song. The Kurt Weill piece is one of the best, if not the best, of the 'third season' songs and Molley did it justice. This was ballad playing to die for! So too was Caribe's bass solo...
More balladry with What'll I Do? followed by Para Praxis. Molley blew a long cadenza before the latter kicked off and it was a deserving finale to an evening of sheer magic.
Of course when the band say, finale, we all know it isn't and the four troupers gave us Om Dois Troi which had Molley on clarinet and Caribe on cavaquino which looked like a deep bodied ukulele.
It was a brief jaunty trip through the rainforests of Brazil before dispatching us off into the rain jungles of Newcastle city centre.
Throughout the gig Tom Gibbs, quiet and reticent, played some amazing piano - sympathetic and always on the money. Brown and Caribe too - could you wish for a better rhythm section?
Come back soon and bring some Glaswegians with you!
Lance.

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