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Sunday, June 03, 2018

DJazz: Durham City Jazz Festival - Jambone @ Redhills. June 2

(Review by Lance/Photos courtesy of Jerry).
We emptied the Empty Shop, our spirits buoyant (literally) as we floated uphill towards the old Durham Miners Hall at Redhills. Russell stopped off for a pint whilst I opted for a Chicken Biryani in a nearby curry caff. 
Thirst quenched and hunger pangs assuaged, we took our pew in the Grade ll listed building just in time to hear a little of the venue's history* before Jambone lit the blue touchpaper.
All four members of the current Francis Tulip Quartet had emerged from previous editions of the Sage Gateshead's pride and joy - second only to the Northern Sinfonia in prestige - and one of them, Ben Lawrence, is still there, at least for this term.
Jambone's program would appear to become more adventurous with each incarnation and this one is very much built around the Norma Winstone-like talents of 16-year-old Emily McDermott. The vocalist has a purity of tone that belies her years whilst still maintaining the essential jazz feel.
Rome Wasn't Built in a Day (and nor was Jambone) displayed these talents in abundance along with several other soloists. Lucien Guest, Ryan de Silva - Thelonious Monk, Buddy de Franco - Lucien and Ryan were surely destined by name to become jazz musicians and their solos proved it! Ben Lawrence we knew from previous, Imogen Davies-Pugh we didn't but we do now.
Hymn Tune began with bowed bass, dissonant reeds and soulful (not soul) tenor from Knivett before Emily took it up with Metcalf blowing flugel in the background.
The final 20 minutes or so comprised a medley, or rather a suite, by James Brady based around Northumbrian folk tunes.
Did it have a title? I'm sure it did, although I didn't catch it. Nor did I recognise all the melodies apart from Waters of Tyne and Bobby Shafto. Just about everyone who hadn't already soloed had a bite starting with a full-toned, melancholy trombone solo from Kate Garnett. Even MD Edis had a few bars on alto. Emily, of course, stamped her brand on the vocals, Thompson, Alex, blew some gutsy tenor and Thompson, Dylan, switched to mallets. Shipsey discarded upright bass for bass guitar and Bobby Shafto went off on the high seas whilst the trumpets were up in the high c area.
And then it was all over and the 'roadies' began to clear the stage in preparation for Soweto Kinch giving us time to reflect on the magic that Paul Edis has weaved, not just with the current line-up but with all the previous versions, long may it continue. A band such as this cannot not be allowed to continue to provide the musical education at a level lacking in so many of our schools. Indeed musical education at any level seems to be on the decline. Invite your MP to Jambone's next performance...
Lance.

Paul Edis (MD/alto); Lucien Guest, James Metcalf, Edward Hogben (trumpets); Kate Garnett (trombone); Imogen Davies-Pugh, Megan Robinson (flute); Haaruun Miller, Ella Talbot (alto); Ben Knivett, Alex Thompson (tenor); Ryan de Silva (baritone); Ben Lawrence (piano); Matthew Downey (guitar); Alex Shipsey (bass/bass guitar); Dylan Thompson (drums); Emily McDermott (vocal).

*In days gone by, Redhills was the hub for representatives of the 298 collieries in the Durham coalfield and, with two of the banners looking down upon the stage it brought back memories of when I, as a callow youth, proudly marched into Durham on Gala Day blowing 3rd cornet behind the men and women of Usworth Colliery, now, like the other 297 long gone. 
Ah! memories...

2 comments :

JERRY said...

I believe the title was simply JAMBONE SUITE.
Having seen the same set-list performed at the GIJF earlier this year, it is clear that this incredibly talented ensemble are still getting better and better. Congrats!

Jerry said...

Rothbury Hills, Remember Me and Byker Hill were the other three titles in JAMBONE SUITE (or was it JAMBONE SET?)
Jambone were brilliant at the GIJF earlier in the year and even better now! Congratulations to all concerned.

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