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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, November 14, 2015

Blind Monk @ The Jazz Café - Nov. 13










Bob Whittaker (ten); Hugo Harrison (bs); Johnny Hunter (dms).
(Review/bw photo by Lance/Colour photos courtesy of Mike Tilley).
Friday the 13th, unlucky for some, but not for those at the Jazz Café last night where the lads from Liverpool, the Blind Monk Trio, pleased all but the most discerning ears. Tenor/bass/drums trios are becoming more and more the norm these days both here, in Europe and New York and, with the absence of guitar or keyboard, allows the saxophonist a freer hand, carte blanche if you will, to travel where e'er he care to.
This, Whittaker did well only rarely trespassing beyond the bounds of sanity.
It took them awhile to acclimatise - literally! The saxman played the first set wearing a duffle coat (yes they still make them!) whilst Harrison sported a woolly hat. By contrast, Hunter was in almost Costa Del Sol apparel. As the set progressed, with most numbers containing an end of gig style drum solo, it was easy to see why! 
This was contemporary without anyone sending an urgent message to the RSPCA. Nor were there any poncy music stands or visible ipads - it came from the heart.
Mainly originals, often with quite quirky heads punctuated with pregnant pauses. This was music to keep you wide awake. My bottle of Geordie Jazz (A traditional bitter, amber in colour, it's maltiness offset with plenty of bitterness using traditional English Goldings and Fuggles hops) could have been re-named Scouse Jazz - the Fuggles and the Goldings were dancing in the bottle to the beat and this was to a tune that was almost a ballad - almost!
Come the second set, the woolly hat now sat atop of the double bass scroll with the duffle discarded.
They swung out, brother did they swing out. Hunter gave another end of set solo even though the set end was but a dot on the horizon!
Whittaker pitched in taking it to the limit. A slugfest 'twixt tenor and traps with Harrison as referee. No prisoners taken, no quarter given.
This was way out, and I use the expression advisedly, of my comfort zone yet I didn't mind. When somethings done well and effectively comfort zones cease to exist.
The music, as the name implies, hints at Thelonious Monk. Imagine Monk, blind drunk, and you've got the picture. They did actually play a Monk tune, the appropriately named Friday the Thirteenth.
There was also a Sam Rivers number but, in the main, original compositions by the three individuals.
There was a good turn out for a band which deserved nothing less.
Maybe I'll end up supporting Everton or Liverpool!
Photos.
Lance.

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Boss trio, nice review. Blind Monk Trio regularly appear at The Caledonia, Liverpool -- always a great night. Cheers 🍻.

David Keighley (on F/b) said...

Cracking gig indeed!

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