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Monday, June 22, 2015

Sue Ferris Quintet @ The Black Bull. June 21

Sue Ferris (tenor & baritone saxophones, flute), Graham Hardy (trumpet & flugelhorn), Stuart Collingwood (keyboards), Ian Paterson (double bass) & Rob Walker (drums)
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Roly.)
Blaydon Jazz Club invited Sue Ferris to bring in her quintet to play a gig at this year’s Blaydon Festival. The longest day was perhaps the coldest June day in living memory. Inclement weather didn’t deter the regulars and they were rewarded with a fine gig by Ferris and her top-notch band.
Peri’s Scope set the pace ensuring the boys in the band were nicely warmed up. Ferris’ regular frontline partner Graham Hardy played plunger mute on Just Squeeze Me, Stu Collingwood and Ian Paterson soloed leaving the way clear for Ferris’ tenor to take it home. An early highlight – perhaps the highlight of the night – featured Hardy and an inspired Rob Walker rifling apposite accents on Monk’s Well, You Needn’t. The little-heard Wayne Shorter composition Look at the Birdie convinced some that the cartoon birdsong owed something to the golden age of Hollywood animators.

Drummer Rob Walker made running repairs to a hi-hat stand (gaffer tape a temporary solution) leaving Ferris to fill as best she could – I don’t tell jokes, she said. Cue Roly Veitch to make a few parish announcements. One such announcement should be noted: Sunday July 5 – trumpeter Colin Aitchison and Franco Valussi (clarinet) return with Cumbria-based reedsman Steve Andrews. Don’t miss this one, arrive early or you may not get a seat. Walker up and running once more, Ferris switched to flute (Hardy made the change to flugelhorn) to close out a fantastic first set with Witchcraft.
A brace of Horace Silver tunes kicked-off the second set; Opus de Funk then Song For My Father (Ferris and Paterson the soloists). A Graham Hardy arrangement of Leonard Bernstein’s One Hand, One Heart featured the arranger himself on flugel. Ferris took a samba approach to Secret Love before picking up the big beast (her baritone sax) on two standards; Rollins’ Doxy and Hoagy’s Stardust. To round off a great night Ferris made a Black Coffee – the perfect nightcap. 

Russell.      

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