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Born This Day
Louis Armstrong and Steve Andrews.

Monday, June 25, 2018

A Farewell to Dan - Court Inn, Durham - June 24.

(Review by Russell)
It could be said that comparisons are invidious. Perhaps, but in this instance well made, serving to illustrate a great talent that, over the last four years, lit up the northeast jazz scene and is, sadly, about to leave us. BSH readers of a certain vintage will, no doubt, fondly recall the wonderful alto saxophonist Nigel Stanger (Newcastle Big Band). Last night at Durham’s Court Inn a jam session featuring some of the best up-and-coming talents bade farewell to Durham University music student Daniel Garel.
Dan plays alto sax, he’s been a key figure in the Durham University Jazz Society (DU Jazz Soc), performed and recorded with the award-winning Durham University Big Band (DUBB) and DJazz (Durham Jazz Festival) wouldn’t have been half the success story it has become without his not considerable efforts. And so to last night. Why not organise a final jam session? Dan being Dan, that’s precisely what he did. A house rhythm section to die for – Angus MacNaughton, bass, and Matt MacKellar, drums, augmented by the prodigiously talented guitarist Francis Tulip – this had all the makings of a storming session…and that’s exactly what we got!
Durham’s students were out in force to say their goodbyes to Dan and one or two of them sat in – a piano player, a guitarist doubling up on keys, a drummer and a brave alto saxophonist! However, the evening was about Dan, a final opportunity to hear him play and to wish him well. Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise, Stella by Starlight, On Green Dolphin Street – fabulous tunes, and, on each one, our soon-to-depart alto saxophonist played stunningly well.
Messrs Tulip and MacKellar had their moments (they’re too talented not to produce the goods), Angus MacNaughton, Dan’s one-time flatmate, played in-the-pocket bass guitar and the sitters-in proved their worth... Blue Bossa, Now’s the Time and Have You Met Miss Jones?  - these were to be the last few tunes we’d hear Dan take to town. And as the evening drew towards its close, the unexpected happened…Dan’s mate, Tristan Bacon (DUBB drummer) got up to sing! And the tune?   It’s Only a Paper Moon!

So, that’s it, Dan Garel is leaving us. A handshake to wish him well, farewell to a great alto player, and a nice bloke into the bargain. Come see us again Dan, there’s always a jam session going on somewhere in town! 
Russell

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