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Monday, April 25, 2016

Noel Dennis Trio @ The Lit & Phil. April 22

Noel Dennis (trumpet & flugelhorn), Paul Edis (piano) & Andy Champion (double bass)
(Review by Russell, photo from a Jazz Café gig)
Another in the monthly Friday lunchtime jazz concerts at the Lit & Phil and another well-attended session. Noel Dennis has started to play more engagements following his return to the region following a stint working in Glasgow. The Glaswegians’ loss, our gain, it’s a treat to hear this most fluent of brass players in a small group setting.
Dennis recently resumed a working relationship with Paul Edis and Andy Champion and you would be hard pressed to hear a better trio. The Teesside-based trumpeter favours the Great American Songbook and its interpreters. Stella by Starlight opened the programme, Rodgers and Hart featured (My Funny Valentine) as did trumpeter and composer and firm favourite of Dennis’ Tom Harrell (Little Dancer and Sail Away). Trumpet and flugelhorn, Dennis’ endless flow of ideas never fails to impress. Intelligible, fully formed statements sets the Teessider apart from the rest. How he does it is beyond mere mortals (the Friday Lit & Phil audience) but his band mates Edis and Champion had little difficulty staying with him.
Wayne Shorter’s Fee Fi Fo Fum (solos all) and Bird’s Au Privave impressed, the latter at the to-be-expected high tempo. Noel Dennis took time out to plug Don Cheadle’s film of Miles Davis – Miles Ahead – saying he was keen to get to the cinema to see it. A good set at the Lit & Phil from a fine trumpeter, now let’s go to the cinema to hear Miles – another half decent horn player. 
Russell.            

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