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Bebop Spoken There

Brian Harvey: "The exciting day arrived and we [as under age school boys] snuck into the [pub's] rehearsal room, sat awkwardly to attention on hard chairs in a row facing the band and heard our first - very loud - live jazz. What an occasion that was - we even drank beer because we understood that's what jazz people did and that's what the band were drinking." - (Just Jazz June 2020)

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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.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Noel Dennis Trio @ Gala Theatre, Durham - June 23

Noel Dennis (trumpet & flugelhorn), Paul Edis (piano) & Andy Champion (double bass)
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Brian Ebbatson)
Is there a more lyrical trumpet player? Noel Dennis has the pedigree of a top flight London-based musician yet chooses to combine his work as an academic with his love of jazz. Having relocated to his native north east following a short stint working in Glasgow, Dennis is once again playing a select number of gigs throughout the region.
This Gala Theatre gig followed a remarkable pattern; for several months the Gala’s lunchtime jazz concert has sold out days, if not weeks, in advance. Noel Dennis was greeted by a full house. The one hundred seats were occupied in time for a one o’clock start with Dennis quipping that Durham was the region’s jazz capital. 
Victor Young’s Beautiful Love opened the one-hour programme. The trio – Dennis, Paul Edis, piano, and Andy Champion, bass – worked together in Voice of the North Jazz Orchestra and subsequently in innumerable settings locally and nationally. The three are top-class instrumentalists and this trio gig heard them playing a relaxed set borne of mutual respect. A set list to die for, Dennis has a particular liking for trumpeter Tom Harrell’s compositions. Two such – Little Dancer and Moon Alley – were played back to back with Dennis on flugelhorn. Construction and clarity of thought enable Dennis to develop lengthy, fully formed solos. This is a rare skill, and, not to be outdone, Edis and Champion proved equally adept at laying down similarly stellar solos. In a set of sixty minutes, the trio gave a faultless display. Dennis chose to play Freddie Freeloader.  Our trumpeter could have, given the chance, played Miles Davis’ entire discography…now, there’s an idea!

Stella by Starlight heard Dennis once more playing flugelhorn. A tune, Dennis informed the Gala’s attentive audience, that was a favourite of his father, Kel. A great tune and a nice moment. A good gig flies by. This one went by at the speed of light. As the time approached two o’clock, the set list jettisoned one number, closing with Au Privave. Talking of speed of light, Messrs Dennis, Edis and Champion flew like a Bird.

Next month’s concert (July 28) featuring Jo Harrop is already a sellout! So, to be sure of a seat for  August’s concert – featuring the Ushaw Ensemble – book now, telephone 03000 266 600
Russell.
Noel Dennis will be at the Jazz Café, Newcastle with pianist Dean Stockdale on Friday, July 7.                                     

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