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Born This Day
Louis Armstrong and Steve Andrews.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Gerry Richardson Quartet @ Jazz Café. March 9

Gerry Richardson (Hammond organ), Garry Linsley (alto saxophone), Rod Sinclair (guitar) & Adam Sinclair (drums)
(Review by Russell)
March 9, UK Live Music Census day. A nation wide music industry census to gauge the health of the music scene canvassing opinion from audiences, musicians, venue operators and promoters. The Tyneside element included Sage Gateshead and a range of Newcastle venues from the small scale pub gig to the ‘plastic glass stand-up booking fee will apply’ establishment. As luck would have it Newcastle’s Jazz Café was on a convenient walking distance circuit of the dedicated canvassers.


In the Jazz Café’s upstairs room on Pink Lane canvassers happened upon one of the great bands…the Gerry Richardson Quartet. Imagine walking in on some of this – Jive Samba (Nat Adderley), In a Mellotone (Ellington), Money’s Getting Cheaper (Witherspoon) and more. Richardson runs his Big Idea, a nine-piece outfit. Tonight the horns were given the night off, the exception being Garry Linsley. The Cumbrian-based alto saxophonist is one of two key components in any line-up (the other Rod Sinclair, guitar) be it trio, quartet as per tonight’s gig, or the mighty Big Idea.

The Sticks, Just Squeeze Me, Mose Allison’s Everybody’s Cryin’ Mercy, every number a gem. Richardson doesn’t do anything other than great tunes and one Richardson tune that is invariably in the set list – African Sunset – duly cropped up. It’s a feature for drummer Adam Sinclair (predecessor Paul Smith developed the polyrhythmic patterns), R. Sinclair featured as soloist or rhythm guitar maestro on pretty much all tunes, and Richardson, at a relatively new Hammond (the old piece of furniture seemingly retired to the Richardson Museum of All Things Hammond), cooks and grooves (old school Blue Note lingo) non-stop. Yes, the census guys hit lucky catching Gerry Richardson at the Jazz Café. Quality of performance wasn’t being measured. If it was – on a scale of 1 to 10 – mark it down as   11. Let’s go out on some Jimmy Smith…Back at the Chicken Shack.         
Russell                

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