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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.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Bold Big Band @ Dun Cow, Jesmond - March 11

(Review by Lance)
Well named! This young band of, predominantly, students from Newcastle University are certainly bold. You could also add brash and belting but not balladic. They don't do subtle, putting the boot in is their chosen forté; not surprising given that the pad contains a lot of Buddy Rich and Gordon Goodwin numbers. The audience of future Prime Ministers, captains of industry and Harley St., surgeons wouldn't want it any other way and, as the evening drew to a close, the space in front of the band was awash with gyrating bodies and not all of them were students. It says much for drummer Harry Still that he didn't allow the shadow of Buddy Rich to phase him and his drive contributed much to the excitement generated by the band that led to the terpsichorean workout.
Leader Jimmy Jefford is undoubtedly a saxophonist whose star is in the ascendancy. Complete control of his instrument (tenor) and a well-organised leader. His solo on Watermelon Man had the mercury bubbling over.
Alexis Cairns blew impressive tenor on Dancing Man and Mercedes Phillips on lead alto also blew well on Big Swing Face and Spain. Her soprano solo on Sing, Sang, Sung really wailed. Most of the trumpet solos were by Elliott Todd to whom range seems no obstacle.
In one of the more melodic moments, Alex Utting had a nice bass trombone feature on Wave and Bertie Marks had a blast on the aforementioned Dancing Man.
The rhythm section were as sound - or maybe even sounder in today's climate - as a pound with Ben Richardson well featured on keys as was Luke Gaul on guitar. Gaul also took over on bass guitar when Osiyemi stepped up to the plate for his vocals. After a somewhat hesitant beginning, the singer's confidence grew and, as the night progressed, he was firing on all cylinders.
The performance area at the Dun Cow is compact but, like most jazz venues these days, gives the audience the feeling that they are part of it unlike sitting in Row X of a concert hall and reaching for your binoculars. Although I was on Coca Cola (driving) I couldn't resist torturing myself by looking at the choice of real ales available...ah maybe next time and I'm sure there will be a next time...
Lance.

Info re personnel and setlists courtesy of Jimmy Jefford and Alexis Cairns.
Mercedes Phillips, David Johnson, Jimmy Jefford, Alexis Cairns, Lucy Miller (saxes); Oli Presland, Danny Wilson, Elliott Todd, Ben Chinery (trumpets); David Gray, Simon Hirst, Bertie Marks, Alex Utting (trombones); Ben Richardson (keys); Luke Gaul (guitar/bass guitar); Ifede Osiyemi (bass guitar and vocals); Harry Still (drums).

Set 1:
Big Swing Face (Ben Richardson, keys; Mercedes Phillips, alto sax)
Wave (Alex Utting, trombone)
Nutville (Jimmy Jefford, tenor sax; Elliott Todd, trumpet; Harry Still, drums)
See the World (Luke Gaul, guitar)
Ain't Misbehavin' (Ifede Osiyemi, vocals)
The Lady is a Tramp (Ifede Osiyemi, vocals)

Set 2:
Spain (Elliott Todd, trumpet; Ben Richardson, keys; Mercedes Phillips, alto sax)
Dancing Men (Alexis Cairns, tenor sax; Bertie Marks, trombone)
The Way You Look Tonight (Ifede Osiyemi, vocals)
L.O.V.E. (Ifede Osiyemi)
Children of Sanchez (Elliott Todd, trumpet; Luke Gaul, guitar)
Count Bubba (Ben Richardson, keys)

Set 3:
Sing Sang Sung (Mercedes Phillips, soprano sax)
Pick up the Pieces (David Johnson, alto sax; Ben Richardson, keys; Jimmy Jefford, tenor sax)
Mack the Knife (Ifede Osiyemi, vocals)
Come Fly With Me (Ifede Osiyemi, vocals)
Watermelon Man (Jimmy Jefford, tenor sax)
The Jazz Police (Jimmy Jefford, tenor sax; Luke Gaul, guitar)

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