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Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Early Bird Sessions @ The Lit & Phil. April 9

Ben Lawrence (trumpet), James Metcalf (trumpet), Francis Tulip (guitar), Philipp Grobe (piano), Dan Lawrence (bass), Rory Gardener (drums) & Paul Edis (MD & alto saxophone)
(Review by Russell/Photo courtesy of Jerry Edis).
The Saturday morning philosophy group vacated their usual space in favour of the ‘quiet room’ in the bowels of the Lit & Phil. As the philosophers got down to some thinking the Early Bird jazz ensemble got stuck into some charts and an hour or so later performed in front of a paying public.
A week before Jambone’s high-profile concert at this year’s Gateshead International Jazz Festival with Phil Meadows and the Royal Northern Sinfonia at Sage Gateshead the Early Birds were augmented by three Jamboners; Philipp Grobe (piano), Rory Gardener (drums) and trumpeter James Metcalf. Tutor Paul Edis and the boys (no girls, a deficiency in the jazz world in general) ran through five tunes in half an hour. Tenor Madness (the lack of a tenor player in the line-up didn’t escape the observant Edis) opened the programme and a round of solos introduced the new faces – Metcalf possesses a rounded tone, Grobe is an assured performer and the keen Gardener played with brushes and no little gusto.
Alice in Wonderland featured the string-playing regulars Francis Tulip, guitar, and bassist Dan Lawrence as the ensemble got its collective head around the demands of a waltz time standard, and for good measure worked out a dissonant coda. Regular brass player Ben (a  couple of years the younger of the Lawrence brothers) led impressively on Yesterdays. Metcalf followed his brass frontline band mate, Francis Tulip knocked out a superb solo and Edis took it home on alto.
Scrapple from the Apple and Lady Bird (the depping Rory Gardener ‘giving it some’ with a vigorous brush workout on the latter) rounded off another of the Lit and Phil’s Saturday morning Early Bird sessions. The next one in the series is on May 14 at 11:00am.   
Russell.     

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