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Bebop Spoken There

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Born This Day
Louis Armstrong and Steve Andrews.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

JNE: Early Nite + Pete Tantons’ Riviera Quartet @ the Bridge Hotel, Newcastle May 14

Early Nite - Otto Wilberg (bass); Harry Smith (tenor sax); Alexander Tod (drums)
(Review by Steve H/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew.)
Early Nite are a Manchester based trio who performed a thoroughly entertaining set at The Bridge on Sunday night. Their music is highly frenetic and full of good humour. Think ‘Flight of the bumble bee’ meets Ornette Coleman. The band certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves and their bonhomie translated itself to the audience. Saxophonist Harry Smith was virtually jumping around the stage as he performed whilst Otto Wilberg on bass was both innovative and great to watch, at one point using his bow as a plectrum. Not to be outdone drummer, Alexander Tod, was excellent on drums incorporating various percussive additions to the normal kit to great effect. 
Although the pieces were fairly free and hectic they were also some fine riffs incorporated. My neighbour at the gig not a great aficionado of the freer kind of jazz was actually pleasantly surprised at how much he actually enjoyed it and I think he meant it as a compliment when he said ‘I liked the fact that the pieces were short’. Anyway as far I was concerned it was an as exuberant and uplifting performance as anyone could hope for.
Earlier in the evening the Pete Tanton Quartet: Pete Tanton (trumpet/flugel); Mark Williams (guitar); John Pope (bass); Adam Sinclair (drums), performed a fine display of straight ahead jazz featuring blues, bebop and bossa. The set even included Pete Tanton’s 2015 Eurovision song contest entry (honest). The music does what it says on the tin and although not exactly ground breaking the quality of the musicianship and the overall level of performance meant that the set was attention holding and highly entertaining.
 Steve H.

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