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Bebop Spoken There

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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, March 09, 2016

The Safe Sextet @ The Jazz Café - March 8


Don Forbes (tpt); Paul Gowland (alt/ten); John Rowland (ten); Alan Law (pno); Paul Grainger (bs); Paul Wight (dms).
(Review by Lance).
A tribute to north-east legends the Emcee 5, with a nod towards Stan Tracey's Under Milkwood, made this a most satisfying session. Particularly for someone such as myself who remembers hearing the Emcee 5 at the Down Beat club in Carliol Square back in the mists of time.
Don Forbes transcribed the numbers from disc and from memory. He did a grand job of recapturing the feel of the originals. The Emcee 5 compositions, mainly by Mike Carr and Gary Cox, had an identifiable sound and, although there were now six, that sound was still there.
Three Mike Carr pieces: The Bridge; Down Beat After Dark and The One That Got Away set the pace. Tight ensembles and excellent solos passed around the seated players (only Grainger, on bass, remained standing although Rowland did stand up for his solos). It didn't matter.
Unlike so many sessions these days, every number didn't end up with the seemingly endless, and often meaningless, rounds of fours.
Pen Pals and I Lost my Step in Nantucket (knockout Alan Law) brought Under Milkwood into the equation and they did Stan Tracey proud. Dobson's Choice, named after local author and jazz fan, Scott Dobson (Larn Yersel Geordie), brought the first set to a close.
The second innings began with a Stan Tracey bouncer - No Good Boyo (I think) and a balladic piece that had both tenors tugging at the heartstrings.
More Emcee 5 with Bell's Blues, a piece from the latter days of the group that, now, featured Gary Cox on tenor, Mike Carr on organ, Jacky Denton on drums and John McLaughlin on guitar. Tonight it was trumpet and two tenors out front and the 3/4 Scottish flavoured opus swung like Sauchiehall St on New Year's Eve.
Groovin' at the Down Beat featured Paul Wight, Stephenson's Rocket had some keyboard capers from Alan Law and John O' Groats brought the set to a close except it didn't. A jam on There Will Never be Another You almost did until the word got around that it was my birthday the next day and the inevitable Happy Birthday to You followed. Thanks, guys, you made an old man feel even older!
Still it had been a good session. Don Forbes' transcriptions accurate and his trumpet playing very much in the Ian Carr mode. Gowland and Rowland, effective, albeit with contrasting styles. Laws, Grainger and Wight - solid.
The only downside was the poor attendance - they deserved a full house.
Lance.

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