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Friday, May 20, 2016

BABMUS @ The Jazz Café, Newcastle. May 19

Ashleigh Lowes (vocals), Celine Tovey (trumpet), Jen Hayton (alto saxophone), Ciaran Jasper (baritone saxophone), Tom Bearpark (piano), Matthew Splevins (guitar), Stephen Hall (bass), Dan Butteo (drums), Michael Mather (percussion) + Paul Edis (MD, alto saxophone) & Sue Ferris (tenor saxophone)
(Review by Russell/Photo courtesy of Mike Tilley)
BABMUS…an amalgam of Sage Gateshead’s BA and BMus student degree courses. One or two familiar faces – percussionist Michael Mather has been known to sit-in at Caff jam sessions and Stephen Hall (electric bass) has performed at Sage HQ – took to the stand as members of an eleven piece band in the upstairs room of the Jazz Café. Nine students and two senior practitioners – MD Paul Edis and guest Sue Ferris (tenor saxophone) – played two sets of familiar tunes to a healthy turnout of enthusiastic supporters.
So What (Edis mischievously suggested bass anchor Hall would play a pivotal role on the number…no pressure then, Stephen!), an Edis arrangement of a Bruno Mars song (singer Ashleigh Lowes featured on several tunes) and A Message to You, Rudy illustrated a wide ranging approach to the degree programmes’ learning and performance ethos. Dan Butteo and Michael Mather featured on Abdullah Ibrahim’s Soweto, Lowes handled All Blues as Sue Ferris showed all present how to play blistering tenor saxophone.
Pianist Tom Bearpark brought along a tune of his own; Simply Drifting (parts written out for the ensemble) first heard MD Dr Edis on alto, then the composer himself on piano. If Bearpark gets along to a Jazz Café jam session he could challenge some of the best sight-readers in town to accompany him on the number. Add a brace of Stevie Wonder classics and we were just about signed, sealed and delivered save for Michael Jackson. Billie Jean with Hall’s on-the-money bass line closed an enjoyable evening of music presented by an enthusiastic group of talented student musicians. Thanks to the Jazz Café for offering the room to the students, thanks to Paul Edis for pulling it all together and specials thanks go to Sue Ferris – if inspiration is half the battle, then the tenor saxophonist more than did a good job in showing the students what can be achieved with application and dedication.
Photos
Russell.    

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