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Bebop Spoken There

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Daniel John Martin with Mick Shoulder’s Swing Manouche @ Empty Shop, Durham - March 16

Daniel John Martin (violin, vocals & whistling), Mick Shoulder (guitar), Giles Strong (guitar) & Paul Susans (double bass)
(Review by Russell)
The third night of four in Daniel John Martin’s tour of the north east. Working with Mick Shoulder’s Swing Manouche on all dates, DJM visited Durham’s unique first-floor Empty Shop premises. An empty shop is nothing new in Austerity Britain, but this listed building on Framwellgate Bridge can rightly claim to be bucking the trend. An ‘alternative space’ with its speakeasy door entry system, dusty floorboards and mix and match tables and chairs, Empty Shop is home to a developing jazz scene with plans afoot to stage a festival during the summer at numerous venues across the city.
Paris-based Daniel John Martin cuts a bohemian figure. Born in Congleton, a childhood in Africa, DJM is without question a virtuoso musician. First linking up with Mick Shoulder a couple of years ago, DJM is surely delighted to make his now frequent return visits to the region knowing that Mick, rhythm guitar master Giles Strong, and bassist Paul Susans are more than up to the job. All seats occupied, Swing Manouche began with Django’s Hungaria. The seated Shoulder and Strong were frequently encouraged by Martin to extend solos - our guest appreciative of their abilities. Similarly, bassist Paul Susans (as good as anyone in the anchor role) received a nod, a smile from DJM.

Anniversary Song, Djangology (Monsieur Shoulder has, no doubt, enlightened Monsieur Martin of the standing of local heroes Djangology Djangologie) and a wonderful vocal rendition of Night and Day made this a performance one could listen to until the early hours…if only! Nevertheless, DJM and the boys played two sets up to a ten thirty finish. The second set included Dinette (a contrafact of Dinah), Lulo Reinhardt’s Lulo’s Swing and at the suggestion of your reviewer Lady Be Good. An ever so polite Martin enquired of Mick, Giles and Paul if they were okay with it. Little did DJM know that the lads knew the tune inside out! Tres bon! Merci monsieurs!        
Russell.         

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