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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, March 07, 2018

Jazz Café Jam - March 6, 2018.

 (Review by Lance).
Two weeks back, the fortnightly Jazz Café jam session was overrun with alto sax players. Last night, it was the guitarists who had the run of the green with Giles Strong fronting the house band and laying down the benchmark for those to follow. However, the evening's Oscar, going by the clapometer went to 'Wonder Woman' Nifemi Osiyemi who gave outstanding renditions of Alright, Okay, You Win and It Don't Mean a Thing. Ms. Osiyemi, I think, closed the evening but, unfortunately, we missed it as the Metro beckoned. The sting in the tail (tale) here is that beckoning Metros don't always deliver but vanish like a will o' the wisp into thin air but more of that later.
To get back to our singer, such was the impact that this medical student had made me think that she should be headlining a gig at the Caff. Now that Dave Clarke's no longer booking the acts, whoever is should sign her up for a Friday evening upstairs or downstairs or, failing that, come in the Jazz Coop, any evening upstairs or downstairs!
The student population present made your reviewer feel very old but, by the same token, delighted by the number of outstanding young musicians up and blowing - possibly more than I've known in many years of jazz listening.
At least four of them were part of the Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra who took out their frustration at the weather-induced cancellation of last week's Big Band Festival at Chester-le-Street by showing just what the standard of that event is.
Suzukawa, a medical student from Tokyo, successfully operated on You'd be so Nice to Come Home to. Shades of Bird and Pepper. All of Me followed. Great tone of which we'd hear more as the evening progressed.
George Sykes hooked up his tenor, Josie Bennington plugged in her flute and Minnie Fraser took the vocal on Take the A Train. Minnie shortchanged us with only one number. However, if you want more you can catch her at Gosforth Civic Theatre on Thursday (March 8).
George and Julie stayed on stage for A Night in Tunisia and Someday My Prince Will Come before Grainger called half-time. There's never a bass-player in the room when you want one. Next time there'll be three.
After the break, it was all-change with Mohammed on drums, Barrett on guitar and another black-shirted NUJO musician, Marcus Tham on piano and Suzukawa returning on alto.
Bernie's Tune, Anthropology and So Nice (Summer Samba). The latter tune featured a long solo by Tham who plays two-fisted piano, a throwback to Harlem rent parties - the home of all the great pianists.
Osiyemi, we've mentioned. What could follow that?
I-Sister, that's what. They did their own thing and did it well. Marvin Gaye's What's Going On? being one of their numbers.
Back to the NUJO boys with Davies on trumpet and impressive guitarist Cuxson, they gave us Bye Bye Blackbird, Four and Autumn Leaves.
Needless to say, amidst all this youthful talent, Grainger, Strong and Walker stood tall. A house trio for all seasons (sessions).
The grand finale with Osiyemi was something we didn't want to miss but nor did we want to miss the Metro...
Guess what? The train didn't show and it was 20 minutes before it  did show its unapologetic carriages.
Nexus? Nixus!
Photos.
Lance
Giles Strong (guitar); Paul Grainger (bass); Rob Walker (drums) + Yuichiro Suzukawa (alto); George Sykes (tenor); Josie Bennington (flute); Minnie Fraser (vocal); Hazem Mohammed (drums); Keith Barrett (guitar); Marcus Tham (piano); Nifemi Osiyemi (vocal); Joe Davies (trumpet); I-Sister (vocal quartet); James Cuxson (guitar).
I-SisterAndrea Ellis (aka Hannah Jones), Lisa Delarney (guitar & vocals), Penny Callow (double bass) & Jerry Drake (drums).


1 comment :

Russell said...

Another cracking session. Great to hear debutants Yuichiro on alto and Marcus on piano. Left handed guitarist James can play and the review rightly mentions Minnie’s cameo performance. Finally, the Main Man, Paul Grainger worked non-stop. Calling all bass players…the next jam session is on Tuesday 20 March. Why not come along and give the man a break?!

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