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11,755 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 895 of them this year alone and, so far, 32 this month (August 9).

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August

Monday 10: Happy Birthday Paul Edis.

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

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Harry Greene Quartet @ Hexham Abbey Festival of Music and Arts 2018. Late Night Jazz – Sept. 29.

Harry Greene (tenor); Matt Carter (keys); Seth Tackaberry (bass); Joel Barford (Drums).
(Review by Hugh)
After last year’s inaugural Late Night Jazz session in the Great Hall featuring Nikki Iles and Stan Sulzmann, the question was, how to follow that up this year?  At the recommendation of Nikki Iles, the Harry Greene Quartet was invited.  These four fresh-faced college lads (all trained on the Jazz Course at The Royal Academy of Music) were smartly suited and booted for the occasion.  Harry Greene brought together a new quartet for what was to be their first gig – with a specially curated programme to celebrate the music and musicians of the Blue Note label - focussing on the output of the 1950s and 60s.

Dexter Gordon’s Cheesecake got the evening off to a swinging start.  The format for most of the evening was set – Harry Greene took the first solo blowing his striking gold on black lacquer horn, followed by the first of many skillful and sensitive piano solos by Matt Carter, proceeding to bass and/or drum solos, with ensemble playing in between.  The up-tempo beat was continued in Hank Mobley’s Soul Station - Seth Tackaberry’s walking bass and Joel Barford’s drumming propelled the piece with purposeful strides.  John Coltrane’s arrangement of I’m Old Fashioned calmed the room with its balladic qualities – Greene’s beautiful saxophone tone was to the fore, with sensitive brushwork from Joel Barford.  The calm was short-lived – Herbie Hancock’s Driftin’ woke us up again with dextrous fingering by Greene on saxophone.  A second (composed later) Hancock number, Maiden Voyage followed, where Joel Barford was let loose to enjoy his drum kit.  This closed the first set after almost one hour’s music.  A scheduled interval ensued, during which replenishment of reviewer’s refreshment was obtained (fit for the occasion) - Allendale Brewery’s 674 – brewed to commemorate the year of the founding of Hexham Abbey.
 The second half commenced with Tammy’s Breeze by Gene Harris, then the familiar, Groove Merchant by Harry Richardson.  During the bass solo, in his eagerness to demonstrate the stratospheric (well for bass, anyway) notes obtainable by concentrating attention to the very bottom of the fingerboard, Seth Tackaberry (and his bass) almost fell onto the music stand in front!  The groove merchants came to a-rockin'(am I allowed to use that word in this context?) climax. 

A sobering five-minute warning was issued from the back of the room.  The final piece was Moment’s Notice (John Coltrane) played at breakneck speed, with blistering performances from all quartet members.  Time for one more?  The bandleader asked.  But it was not to be – the licensing curfew was absolute.  No more music – “you’ll just have to invite us again”, quipped Green.

This was a cracking gig, full of melody with bravura performances by all four members of the quartet.  The receptive audience helped make the gig a success.  These guys have started a journey on a long and productive road.  Who says jazz is the preserve of the older generation? – the enthusiasm and already excellent musicianship of this young quartet augur well for the future of the music.  They have picked up and are already running with the baton.

Hugh C.

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