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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.

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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, October 31, 2015

Buck Clayton Legacy Band @ Sage Gateshead – October 30

Ian Smith (trumpet), Alan Barnes (alto saxophone & clarinet), Matthias Seuffert (tenor saxophone & clarinet), Karen Sharp (tenor & baritone saxophones, clarinet), Adrian Fry (trombone), Martin Litton (piano), Alyn Shipton (double bass) & Bobby Worth (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Some gigs are a ‘no brainer’. This was one of them. A top class line-up, first rate material and a world class venue. The Buck Clayton Legacy Band returned to Sage Gateshead and they brought with them a new show – A Celebration of Duke Ellington. Edward Kennedy Ellington maintained a close friendship with trumpeter Buck Clayton and, as co-leader of the Legacy band Alyn Shipton explained, the focus of the evening would be on Ellington and his musical associates, particularly Duke’s small group oeuvre.
Stomp, Look and Listen, then Globetrotter. Quite a start with Alan Barnes’ alto playing in overdrive from the off. Alan Barnes/Johnny Hodges or Johnny Hodges/Alan Barnes…the striking thing was just how good Barnes was (and is). A world class talent, Barnes would have made it in America had he been around in the 40s or 50s. He would have been in the Ellington band!
Tonight I Shall Sleep with a Smile on My Face, a feature for Tommy Dorsey, featured the immaculate trombone playing of Adrian Fry. The ‘bone man’s contributions didn’t invite comparison with anyone, he was his own man. The five brass and reeds front line worked wonders throughout the evening yet knew when to stand aside – indeed the band departed the stage – leaving pianist Martin Litton to play Washington Wabble.
A highlight of highlights came in the form of Johnny Hodges’ Sweet as Bear Meat: Fry’s plunger work, Matthias Seuffer’s tenor and a round of ace solos. Snibor (Ellington’s music publisher backwards!), Take the A Train, they just kept on a comin’ down the line. Billy Strayhorn’s master work was heard with an interesting (band?) arrangement featuring an excellent baritone sax solo from the excellent Karen Sharp. The three clarinet feature on The Mooche – Barnes, Seuffert and Sharp – illustrated the multi-talented line-up in Sage Two. The audience loved every minute of it and one got the distinct impression that the musicians were having a ball. Time and again trumpeter Ian Smith and Barnesy showed their appreciation for Bobby Worth’s playing, turning around, smiling – a  concert-length drum master class, no less.

Johnny Hodges’ Three and Six (Shipton mischievously suggesting Alan Barnes moaned about receiving the princely sum of three shillings and sixpence for his arrangement!), an evocative Harlem Air Shaft and the Paul Gonsalves’ inspired Happy Reunion (the encore) were just great to listen to. An appreciative audience would willingly have stayed on, but all good things do come to an end. Another cracking night at Sage Gateshead.    
Russell.           

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