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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.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Jam Session @ Jazz Café. February 16

Mark Williams (guitar), Paul Grainger (double bass) & Paul Wight (drums) + Bradley Johnston (guitar), Paul Gowland (alto), Duncan Walker (tenor), Michael Lamb (trumpet), George Anyfantis (piano) & Ian Forbes (drums)  
(Review by Russell)
It had the makings of a quiet night. The house trio opened with a few tunes, Mr Williams in for Mr Gilligan. There is no Greater Love the pick of the early numbers. Punters were thin on the ground. Things could only get better. That said, the jazz was top drawer.
Jam session regular Bradley Johnston, deserving of ‘associate’ membership of the house band, joined the trio to play Stella by Starlight. Great solo from BJ, sensitive brush work form Paul Wight. Falling Grace heard the two six-stringers complimenting one another. Mr Ian Forbes, one the great modern jazz drummers, arrived. Southpaw Wight offered to sit out and whilst Forbes turned the kit around Williams and Johnston played some jazz guitar. In a ‘don’t mind me’ quip Forbes said: Carry on duo-ing, I promise not to laugh.
The duo played All the Things You Are. Fabulous. They should play a duo gig at the Caff.
Mr Gowland, toting his alto, joined the party to play There Will Never Be Another You. A false start to Here’s That Rainy Day belied the wonderful second take. A seated BJ in Joe Pass mode made a bid for solo of the evening. In walked Strictly Smokin’ Michael Lamb. Beautiful Love was the call and it was Lamb who took it on. A good trumpet player on a jam session makes all the difference. BJ chipped in with another polished solo as George Anyfantis rattled a handful of the 88s. Former Durham University Big Band saxophonist Duncan Walker called in with his tenor to play All of Me and Autumn Leaves.
Audience numbers picked up. A party of first time visitors to Pink Lane knew they were listening to some seriously good stuff and, in time honoured fashion, the boys in the band left the best ‘til last. Horace Silver’s Nutville taken at a punishing pace – Messrs Grainger and Wight working like Trojans – encouraged Williams to tear it up, but that was nothing in comparison to the set closer. Mercy, Mercy, Mercy featured the usual round of solos with Mark Williams last to pick up the baton. Sco’s Piety Street groove sent the Irishman into overdrive. Audience and musicians alike could do no more than smile as the guitarist from the Emerald Isle went into orbit. Stunning. It was a good night at the Jazz Café after all.     
Russell.             

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