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11,767 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 907 of them this year alone and, so far, 44 this month (August 11).

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Tuesday 11: Happy Birthday Dave Hignett & Peter King (80).

Thursday 13: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Francis Tulip Quartet @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle - July 27

Francis Tulip (guitar); Ben Lawrence (piano); Michael Dunlop (bass); Matt MacKellar (drums)
(Review by Russell).
This lunchtime concert was a late addition to the published series. Would this fact impact on audience numbers? It did, for the better, with a huge turn out leaving some later comers standing for the duration. Four young men - three of them enjoying a break from their degree studies, the other soon to go to university - playing to an astonishingly high standard, this was the Francis Tulip Quartet. 
Visions opened the programme. Sounding vaguely familiar, it was, of course, a composition by bandleader Tulip. Keep Me in Mind was very familiar, it being a John Scofield number. The youngest member of the quartet, pianist Ben Lawrence, showed what he could do at the Lit and Phil's beautiful piano. 
Wayne Shorter's Deluge from Juju took a leisurely journey with it's loose swing time feel and a rare solo from five-string bassist Michael Dunlop. Another original, this one from drummer Matt MacKellar, hit the heights. Transience with its slow burn, drum 'n' bass groove featured not one but two first-rate solos - first Tulip, then Lawrence. 

The Lit and Phil's audience listened intently to what was happening on the stand and the FT4 upped their game another notch with a storming Inner Urge (comp Joe Henderson) followed by the one hour set's closing number - Robert Glasper's Rise and Shine. Guitarist Tulip tore it up with astonishing virtuoso playing and not to be outdone, pianist Lawrence weighed in with a superb solo of his own. If some present thought that was it they hadn't reckoned on Matt MacKellar giving a masterclass of a solo. The applause said it all and a bluesy encore tore it up again. A memorable occasion, no doubt about it. And, here's the good news...Sunday 5 August, 7:30 at the Globe on Railway Street, Newcastle, the Francis Tulip Quartet will do it, and more, all over again!
Russell.   

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