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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Jazz Social @ Charts, Newcastle - July 22

Stuart Collingwood (piano); Neil Harland (double bass); Matt MacKellar (drums)
(Review by Russell)
After a delay, it's up and running. The scheduled opening of Charts on the Quayside was put back a week or two and when it finally opened its doors the first of a new weekly (Sunday) jam session - Jazz Social - took place last week. Yesterday, BSH managed to get along to the second installment and it has to be said the former Flynn's public house has been transformed into a comfortable, if not swanky, cafe/bar boasting panoramic views across the Tyne to Sage Gateshead. 
Newcastle now hosts no fewer than two weekly sessions - Charts on Newcastle Quayside and Dave Weisser's long-running 'workshop' at the Globe - plus the Jazz Café's twice-monthly hothouse evenings, the Jazz Co-op's Sunday afternoon sessions twice a month and Jesmond's Dun Cow on Wednesdays twice monthly. Here at Charts, from four o'clock through to seven, the house trio played three sets. This week pianist Stu Collingwood was joined by bassist Neil Harland and drummer Matt MacKellar. A new jam session can take time to bed in, however, this one was about to go off with a bang! 

The sitters-in were absent - it'll take time - but this didn't deter Stu, Neil and Matt from having a good time playing a selection of good tunes. I Thought About You (Matt soloing), Take Five (Matt's hand drumming), St Thomas (Neil playing arco bass throughout), a knock out drum solo on Four (Stu happy to let young Matt show what he is capable of), here's your invitation... get along next week (July 29) to show what you can do.      

During one of two intervals a sudden, loud bang - make that a loud BANG! - made some spill their drinks and one or two enjoying a late afternoon slumber to sit bolt upright! Yes, a fuse blew, then blew again as staff scurried around looking in cupboards, checking fuse boxes. As Stu returned to his keyboard...BANG!...lights out! Would there be an unexpected early finish to this week's Jazz Social? Thankfully full power would soon be restored and the trio picked up where they left off. Agua de BeberAin't No Sunshine with Stu conjuring a 70s soul sound from his Roland 300 and, as your scribe was about to depart (a fourth gig of the day beckoned), perhaps the tune of the afternoon - I Got Rhythm - positively flew with Matt's scintillating brushwork setting it up. Jazz Social, Charts, four o'clock Sundays, sit-in or simply sit back and listen and be prepared, things could well go with a bang!
Russell.               

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