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Friday, October 27, 2017

BABMUS: 6TEEN54 @ Jazz Café - October 26

Tom Dixon (alto saxophone), Jamie Jingles (guitar), Inês Gonçalves (piano & vocals), José Gonçalves (bass) & Ben Fitzgerald (drums)
(Review by Russell)
6TEEN54, a one-off quintet comprising BABMUS students, an alumnus, and a visiting bass player from Portugal played to an enthusiastic crowd at the Jazz Café in Newcastle. Bearpark (that’s Tom Bearpark and friends) have established a regular Sage Gateshead music students’ gig in the Caff’s upstairs room and it was heartening to see students and friends supporting this one-time-only gig.
Bearpark front man Tom Dixon did the talking; the set list would range from Jobim to GAS Book to Coltrane together with a brace of original compositions. The performance opened (and would later close) with a duet between father and daughter. BABMUS piano and vocal student Inês Gonçalves sang Jobim’s Dindi accompanied by father José playing six-string electric bass. Señor Gonçalves, welcome to Newcastle! For the most part, our visitor from Portugal took a back seat, happy to hear Inês and her fellow students take centre stage. How High the Moon sang Inês with Tom Dixon on alto taking a first solo of the evening. TD has been busy composing tunes and two of them were to be given a world premiere! The true tale of having alcohol confiscated at the door of a local music venue (a well-known lager brand secreted upon the person) yielded the title of Tom Dixon’s Secret Stella. In part, a Latin groove, guitarist Jamie Jingles (aka…it’s a secret!) impressed, and drummer Ben Fitzgerald, playing his first ever jazz gig, took it home. A new experience for Ben, and credit to the young man, he played the entire set with brushes. Dolphin Dance, and Inês singing (in English and first language Portuguese!) The Girl from Ipanema, rounded off an intriguing first set.

The second set opened with a tune the title of which Tom Dixon wasn’t sure about. Suffice to say it was in Portuguese. The soloists – Jamie and José – spoke a familiar musical language. Perhaps the highlight of the evening was Coltrane’s Equinox. Inês and José the foundation, Tom took off Trane-like, and Jamie, playing without a pick, developed a superior solo, Tom then taking it out. Excellent!
Tom Dixon’s Me-Mow (a female cat, of the cartoon variety, wouldn’t you know?) featured Jamie as he took his time, producing another rounded solo, with Tom taking it (the tune, not the cat) by the scruff of the neck as he played some more great alto. 
 
This BABMUS special – thank you Inês, thank you Señor Gonçalves – ended as it began…father and daughter together (see photo) with Inês singing You Don’t Know What Love Is.          
Russell

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