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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.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Early Birds @ Lit and Phil, Newcastle - Sept. 15.

Paul Edis (alto, MD), James Metcalf (trumpet), Alex Thompson (tenor), Ben Lawrence (piano), Alex Shipsey (bass), Dylan Thompson (drums).
(Review by Steve T)
Didn't want this tiny slice of history, tucked away from the glare, to pass off entirely unnoticed. It was the final performance of long-term Early-Bird stalwarts James Metcalf and Alex Thompson, together with the last remaining original member Ben Lawrence, who started out on trumpet - what must seem to them like - all those years ago.
Four pieces this morning and Lay Over, from Alex Thompson - who almost stole the show in Seaham last week - was as good as any of them. Up Jumped Spring by Freddie Hubbard, a hero of James, was followed by a great horn led version of This Masquerade, from the beginning of George Benson's brief jazz-funk period before he went disco/pop/MOR, which previous incantations of the band have played. Finally, a lively Kenny Dorham piece called Basheer's Dream, as transcribed by James, though he wasn't sure who wrote it.                                      
Despite the absence of a couple of stars from the original group, or maybe because of it, this latest lineup turned out to be a solid all-round band, a whisker short of a proper headline act.
None of these Birds leaving the nest are pursuing music in their choice of studies, but I've no doubt they'll all make a big impact on their respective university scenes in Nottingham, York and Durham, and we wish them all the best.
The responsibility of the Early Birds now rests with remainers Alex Shipsey and Dylan Thompson, together with whoever Dr Edis rustles up to continue the legacy, so plenty cause for optimism for the future.  
Steve T

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