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Sunday, May 08, 2016

NUJO @ JRA Community Festival. May 7

 Charles Philp (leader/guitar), Joe Davies (trumpet), Dominic Lodge (alto), George Simons (keyboards), Dr Nicholas Loughlin (electric bass) & Edward McCartney-Moore (drums)
(Review by Russell)
This year’s Jesmond Community Festival opened on Friday evening with a ‘Bats and Moths’ session in Jesmond Dene. Local residents (and others) were invited to ‘Learn about the different species of bats and moths that live in the UK’. A festival brochure   insisted ‘all children must be accompanied’. Imposing SAT tests on young children is contentious, insisting they take a bat along to Jesmond Dene is simply ridiculous…
The following evening another species of leafy Jesmond wildlife would be put under a musical microscope in Jesmond Library. 
A rare opportunity to examine Middleclassus Studentus (Musica) in daylight drew a capacity audience. Usually found at 2:00am in a euphoric state staggering between/bumping into Jesmond Tanks on Osborne Road with pizza box in hand, the more civilised hour of seven o’clock had a sobering effect on the examinees. One or two ties were in evidence on the stage (floor) as six members of the Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra assembled to play ‘pieces in no particular order’.
‘Jazz Night’ at Jesmond Library took the form of two sets, interval nibbles and a pad of standards, of which some would be recognisable to the none-jazz fan (the audience was comprised of those who are never seen on the scene…you know the type). All enjoyed, all applauded on cue. Band leader Charlie Philp had primed the assembled Jesmonites, suggesting it was the done thing to applaud solos as we went along. Jolly good.
The band’s set list followed the printed programme (‘pieces in no particular order’), at least for the entirety of the first set with So What, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Girl from Ipanema, a respectful Misty and guitarist Philp impressing on Mr PC some of the early highlights. A university big band is, more often than not, comprised of students reading anything other than music! The level of ability never fails to impress. A sextet assembled for this festive occasion included six-string bassist Nicholas Loughlin. The material didn’t hold any fears for the young man, ‘more than competent’ would be the assessment of Dr Nick. Band leader Philp took great delight in emphasising Dr Nicholas Loughlin as the bassist learned the previous day he had been awarded a doctorate in mathematics! His thesis was something to do with Idempotents in diagram algebras. Pass.
Guitarist Philp is a keen participant at the Jazz Café’s jam sessions and it would be good to see a few more students following in his and alto player Jordan Alfonso’s footsteps in getting up to play at Pink Lane. One such is Dominic Lodge. Another alto saxophonist, a band leader too (MD, Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra at the recent Great North Big Band Jazz Festival), Lodge is to give his degree finals’ recital at the Mining Institute on Tuesday 17 May (4:45pm). Open to the public, get along to support Dominic Lodge and several other students on the day.
The Jesmond Residents Association concert resumed with a familiar number – All Blues. Dizzy’s influence was heard on Night in Tunisia with Joe Davies blowing good trumpet, Monk’s Blue Monk followed, Coltrane’s arrangement of My Favourite Things served to highlight Lodge’s abilities and the engine room boys Dr Loughlin, George Simons (keys) and undemonstrative drummer Edward McCartney-Moore held it all together.
Jesmond Residents Association presents another jazz night on Monday 16 May, starting at 7:30pm. The Tyne Trio features vocalist Gina Devine, Charlie Philps will be involved and a number of guests will be sitting in.  
Russell.

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