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Wednesday 12: Happy Birthday Ros Rigby & Don Fairley.

Thursday 13: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Dominic J Marshall Trio @ The Jazz Café. June 14

Dominic J Marshall (piano, synth, programming), Sam Vicary (electric bass) & Sam Gardner (drums)
(Review by Russell/Photo courtesy of Mike Tilley)
Leeds College of Music alumni gigging regularly in a number of bands, home and abroad – pianist Dominic J Marshall and the two Sams, bassist Vicary, drummer Gardner – a gig at Newcastle’s Jazz Café the latest stop on a short British tour. Marshall juggles two trios, one in Holland where he currently resides, and this fine British trio, formed as students in their college days.
The trio set up in the downstairs bar café with Marshall content to play the house upright. A portable synth and associated technical hardware was assembled with the minimum of fuss, and with bassist Vicary travelling with his five string electric and Gardner happy to make use of the in-house Gretsch kit, the boys were on the road hand luggage-style.
All of the tunes heard on the night were Marshall’s from his latest album The Triolithic. Leaves Dance opened the programme, Fictions followed and it became clear that this was a piano jazz trio of the 21st century. Acoustic piano playing referenced Bill Evans and an   earlier generation of piano masters, synth sounds (Marshall’s left hand crossing over) put matters into context; drum ‘n’ bass, hip hop, retro kitsch. Effective programming added a social commentary – children’s voices heard on the West Bank in Free Palestine. Middle Eastern rhythms, the connection made with the Millennial generation; jazz, protest, Scott Heron’s assertion adapted, amended, the social media revolution is being communicated. The Jazz Café’s audience – every last one of them – did themselves proud. Many twenty-somethings listened intently, they ‘got it’, no problem. Sam Gardner is a musician (cue a barrage of drummer jokes!) of the highest order; musical, an infinite flow of ideas, razor sharp in response, fearless in redirecting the flow, shaping the sound, a master class.

A good vibe in the Jazz Café tonight, those present were there to listen. The bar staff too listened – what they made of it all is another matter! A leisurely interval, the trio an easy going sort.

Marshall began the second set in observational, reflective mood. First Family Chronicles, then 80 Campbell Road (the pianist’s childhood home). The trio’s 21st century groove is as it should be – of its time, yet the effortless switching to elegant, swing time sections is truly the preserve of the schooled musician as heard on Windermere. A subsequent debate between musicians and audience about the merits of Ullswater and other Lakeland waters exemplified the immediate connection made on the night.

The interface of programming and overlays with straight ahead swing was something else on Ptah’s Vibration! Rahsaan, Sun Ra, Soweto Kinch, Strigalev, Dominic J Marshall. An excellent gig concluded with Blue Lotus. The Dominic J Marshall Trio made new friends at the Jazz Café. A return visit? Yes, please!
Russell.                      

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