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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.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Alto Summit @ Jazz Café Jam Session - February 20

(Review by Lance).
If the keyword tonight had been sex as opposed to sax then this wouldn't have been a jam session but a bacchanalian orgy. As it was, with 4 altos and 2 tenors strutting their stuff it was certainly an evening of musical hedonism for both players and listeners.
It all began quite sedately with the house trio, this week with Stu Collingwood at the helm, gently swinging through A Foggy Day and Masquerade. The temperature rose with the arrival of Ray Johnson all the way from Northallerton. This may seem a distance but, as he previously commuted from Rothbury, probably an easier trip thanks to Richard Branson.
Ray was on flugel tonight and the mellow-toned instrument did justice to Pennies From Heaven and likewise, an edgier take on Stanley Turrentine's Sugar.
Debra Milne is never one to take the easy way out and our girl met the challenge of vocalising Coltrane's Equinox head on - the gal's got guts!
By now the room was alive as the student population descended.
Ben Richardson spelled Stu on piano, Abbie Finn gave Paul a break on drums and George Sykes set the pace on tenor with There Will Never be Another You. So far so good but when Dan Garel (the first of the altos) joined him we knew this really was a jam session. Kenny Burrell's Chitlins Con Carne the test piece. (Photo by Russell)
To describe Garel's playing as 'fluent' is like describing Usain Bolt as a 'jogger'. Garel fairly soared through the changes at almost twice the speed of light. Wisely, Sykes didn't try to outrun him but, instead, concentrated on content culminating with a bass and tenor exchange that levelled the score.
Ben Richardson separated the protagonists with a fine solo whilst Abbie Finn had a few explosions of her own to keep the boys on their toes. Needless to say, John Pope played a blinder all night despite there being no bass players in the house to give him a break.
Garel stayed aboard for Days of Wine and Roses. Ray Johnson returned along with tenorist Simon Probyn and Tom Hogg on drums.
Dan and Tom stepped down for Adam Stapleford, of the contemporary jazz group Taupe at the kit.
It Don't Mean a Thing proved that Adam has studied jazz past, present and future. He fitted in.
The delightful Inês Gonçalves from Portugal (photo by Russell), in the company of guitarist Peter, played Spain! It was one of those jam session moments when nobody quite knew when to stop - all good fun!
It had been a while since alto player number 2, Jordan Alfonso, showed at the Caff. He excelled on Take the A Train and held his own with alto number 3, Jimmy Jefford, on Beautiful Love. Paul Wight took the honours, however, with an amazing solo on brushes.
Inês returned, this time to sing Corcovado. Alto number 4, Tom Dixon joined the gang for this popular (with Portuguese singers) bossa nova.
The evening was drawing to a close but there was still time for Joel Brown to capture the piano stool for Autumn Leaves.
Final number, I'm told, was Mercy, Mercy, Mercy! but, by this time, I was on the platform waiting for the Metro.
Another killer jam at the Jazz Café.
Photos.
Lance.
PS: Because of the abundance of pianists we didn't hear as much of Stu Collingwood as many of us would have wished. However, needless to say, when he was playing he did the business as one would expect from such a classy player.
Stu Collingwood (piano); John Pope (bass); Paul Wight (drums) + Ray Johnson (flugel); Debra Milne (vocal); Ben Richardson (piano); George Sykes (tenor); Abbie Finn (drums); Dan Garel (alto); Simon Probyn (tenor); Tom Hogg (drums); Adam Stapleford (drums); Inês Gonçalves (piano & vocals); Peter ? (guitar); Jordan Alfonso (alto); Jimmy Jefford (alto); Tom Dixon (alto); Joel Brown (piano).

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