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Bebop Spoken There

Marc Myers: " If the original group with Baker was Dover sole, the group with Brookmeyer was beef stew." - (JazzWax, December 7, 2019).

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Today Tuesday December 10

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm - 3:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jam session - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. House trio: Mark Williams, Paul Grainger, Rob Walker.

Tyne Valley Big Band - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB.Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

Blues/Soul/Folk etc.

?????

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Scarborough Jazz Festival 2016 - Saturday September 24: Barnes/O’Higgins & the Sax Section

(Review by Russell).
As the Spa festival stage crew prepared the platform for the Alan Barnes/Dave O’Higgins saxophone summit a piano tuner quietly went about his business at the Bösendorfer     grand. This an example of the attention to detail, central to the smooth running of a major jazz festival. The Grand Hall audience took five, the room sweltering on a late September Scarborough afternoon.
Alan Barnes and Dave O’Higgins worked together regularly at the Pizza Express in Soho in the 1980s: ‘every Monday evening for about twelve years’ recalled Barnes. O’Higgins nodded, perhaps pondering the intervening years, one suspects gone in a trice! Here at the 2016 Scarborough Jazz Festival the Barnes/O’Higgins’ Sax Section took to the stage with a casual air, virtuosi ready to go to work. The main men, flanked on their left by Sammy Mayne, described by Barnes as his favourite alto sax player, and on baritone, a favourite of Humphrey Lyttleton, Karen Sharp. To their right, playing tenor sax, Judith O’Higgins.

Behind the front line but well up to the mark, the first rate rhythm section of the depping Gareth Williams (fellow pianist Robin Aspland stranded in motorway traffic!), swinging drummer Sebastiaan de Krom and the impressive double bass player Adam King. Names: Dexter, Wardell, Lockjaw; tunes: The Chase, Chelsea Bridge, Oh, Gee!  Yes, a gig to die for! Band soloists ranged right across the front line and the engine room boys. Ms Sharp found her way around the baritone as if playing a quicksilver alto. Audiences like Karen Sharp! Sammy Mayne, blushing at Barnes’ high praise, played killer alto, yet never took to grandstanding. This wasn’t a ‘blazer and slacks’ gig, at least sartorially, rather in style, musically speaking. The two-tenor O’Higgins’ partnership heard Dave in robust form, a more refined Judith stating her case. Alan Barnes is Alan Barnes, isn’t he? Consistency a byword, Barnes introduced the numbers – End of a Love Affair (a feature for Sharp), the Dexter Gordon/Wardell Gray version of The Chase (arr Dave O’Higgins) and a Barnes’ arrangement of Benny Carter’s Just a Mood.

The Grand Hall audience laboured in the heat, Barnes quipped they were ready for their cocoa! That perked them up, just in time for Lockjaw Davis’ rousing Oh, Gee! The Sax Section is a festival winner – familiar names, likewise tunes, jazz at its best. Adam King impressed. A first in-concert hearing for your reviewer of the young London-based bass player, add the name to the list of ‘first call’ musicians. Lean, at a distance not dissimilar to Andy Cleyndert, then the realisation that King has a similar approach; time, his sound subservient (in the best sense) to the tune. A fine set from the Barnes/O’Higgins’ combo.    

Russell.
Alan Barnes (alto & soprano saxophones, clarinet), Sammy Mayne (alto saxophone), Dave O’Higgins (tenor saxophone), Judith O’Higgins (tenor saxophone), Karen Sharp (baritone saxophone), Gareth Williams (piano), Adam King (double bass) & Sebastiaan de Krom (drums)

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