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Bebop Spoken There

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12,535 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 254 of them this year alone and, so far, 105 this month (Feb. 24).

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Talkin' 'Bout Super Groups - Alter Ego @ The Globe Jazz Bar, Newcastle - June 18.

Pete Tanton (tpt/flug); Keith Robinson (alt); Niall Armstrong (ten/fl); Andy Hawking (pno); Tony Abell (bs gtr); David Francis (dms).
(Review by Lance).
As the band took to the stage area the signs were, at the best, a six-all draw in terms of band v audience numbers. However, common sense prevailed and the audience came in two by two and by the time the band had roared into The Soulful Mr Timmons, all the Jazz Coop's newly acquired tables and chairs were occupied and we breathed a sigh of relief!
I was surprised, but far from displeased, to see Pete Tanton on trumpet. In fact, these days, it's difficult to find a gig where Pete isn't on trumpet! Last week he was here with the Riviera Quartet, last night it was Alter Ego, today he's with SSBB at Hoochie Coochie and next Saturday sees him riding a metaphorical tandem with John Pope at the Jazz Café - there may be others!
Still, you can't get enough of a good thing and tonight he played a blinder. Indeed, all six were at the top of their game gelling together and spreading the word that the Jazz Messengers' live!
A mix of hard bop numbers by Blakey, Turrentine, Bobby Watson, Kenny Garrett along with originals by Hawking, Abell and Armstrong. In particular, the latter's Dog Leap Bounce had almost an Ellington small group feel to it; as if Duke had written a number for a '50s Blue Note session.
Armstrong, as well as blowing some roaring tenor solos, offered contrast by way of a flute solo over a samba rhythm. Robinson (he too will be with SSBB this afternoon) provided alto a la Watson, Hawking may be referred to as 'The Silver Fox' but his solos were pure gold, whilst Abell and Francis made sure the engine room was watertight.
Pete Tanton seemed somewhat confused after drawing the raffle. "We don't do this sort of thing in Tennessee" he quipped. Whether he was referring to the raffle or the music I'm not sure but, in either case, he was probably right!
A super night with a super dooper band and, even though the 22 didn't show the number 12 did as did the 27 at the other end after an eventful trip, I use the word advisedly, to the Central Station.
Lance.

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