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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Academy Stars - The Early Bird Band.











Ben Lawrence, trumpet, James Metcalf, trumpet, Paul Edis, MD & alto, Francis Tulip, guitar, Philip Grobe, piano, Dan Lawrence, bass and Matthew McKellar, drums.
(Review/photos by Jerry)
Durham County Cricket Club has problematic finances, struggles to get the crowds it needs, misses out on the share of national acclaim it deserves and yet the standard of cricket is second to none. Twice champions recently and flying again this year while fielding teams almost entirely of local talent nurtured in their excellent academy.
Jazz in the north-east is very similar: the playing is second to none; the area surely punches above its weight compared to other provincial regions and there is a conveyor belt of young talent, as seen here tonight, promising a continuation of that excellence!
I have seen The Early Bird Band five or six times now and their progress is nothing short of remarkable with ever-increasing confidence in the solos augmenting punchy ensemble playing. They played four numbers including Ladybird, Jerome Kern’s Yesterdays and Rollins’ Tenor Madness (“a crazy choice,” said their MD, “as we haven’t got a tenor!”). The punchy ensemble playing and confident solos were best evidenced in this last number which, from the opening bars, left no one in the audience sitting still. Well-received solos from both trumpeters were followed by the last of a series of gems from Francis Tulip, a rousing drum solo and, watched approvingly by Andy Champion in the audience, a bass solo for Dan Lawrence rock-steady but hidden at the back on all four tunes.
Well played lads!
Jerry.

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