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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Finn Whettam Rhodes @ Quakerhouse, Darlington. Nov 13

Abbie Finn (drums), Joe Whettam (guitar) & Alistair Rhodes (bass) + Beth Roberts (alto saxophone), Omar Shade (tenor saxophone), Matthew Robinson (trumpet) &
Tom McDonald (trombone)
(Review by Russell/Photo from archive)
Drummer Abbie Finn came to prominence in the Durham County Youth Big Band. At present studying at Leeds College of Music, Finn recently made a big impression when sitting in at the Jazz Café’s regular jam session up the road in Newcastle. A Darlington Jazz Club engagement at the Quakerhouse is a home turf gig for Finn and no doubt felt relaxed about performing in front of so many familiar faces. Joining the drummer on an early Sunday evening gig were fellow Leeds undergraduates Joe Whettam and Alistair Rhodes.
The upstairs room in the ancient Quakerhouse pub on Mechanics’ Yard filled up with a large turn out there to hear one of their own. Finn Whettam Rhodes – a matter of equal billing – worked as a ‘standards’ trio: Nica’s Dream, Well, You Needn’t, a march-tempo drum pattern introducing On Green Dolphin Street, Finn assured, her bandmates a little tentative. Realising they were among jazz friends, Whettam and Rhodes began to play. Guitarist Joe Whettam, playing a Stratocaster, is a welcome departure from the student guitar shredding fraternity. The lightest of touches, timing, the ability to find space and refrain from filling it with another chord, another note, Whettam impressed. Footprints featured the guitarist and Solar featured the trio, with Alistair Rhodes undemonstrative, occasionally singing along to his bass solo, closing the first set.
Second set: Finn opted to use brushes in the close confines of the award-winning Camra hostelry with an effortless round of fours on Tadd Dameron’s Ladybird. Bassist Rhodes won applause for a considered solo on a seasonal Autumn Leaves and the trio impressed with a delicate reading of All the Things You Are. Darlington’s next generation (a year or two younger than Abbie, Joe and Alistair) sat in on a couple of numbers including There Will Never Be Another You. For the record, the four names to note: Beth Roberts (alto), Omar Shade (tenor), Matthew Robinson (trumpet) and Tom MacDonald (trombone).       
Finn, Whettam and Rhodes are a fine example of jazz education in action. There is little doubt we’ll be hearing more from the trio in future, and, before too long, many others!
Russell.

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