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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, October 22, 2018

Middlesbrough Jazz Weekender 2018: Sunday afternoon in the Crypt - Printmakers.

Printmakers: Nikki Iles (piano); Norma Winstone (voice); Mark Lockheart (tenor); Mike Walker (guitar); Steve Watts (bass); James Maddren (drums).
(Review by Lance/ Photo of Nikki & Norma courtesy of Russell).
To think I almost missed this one! Printmakers? mmm, Printmakers! OMG (or words to that effect) Nikki Iles, Norma Winstone and co. I'm going senile - I'd ticked it under Nikki, or was it Norma, or was it both? Printmakers, I thought, was, well, maybe about printmaking?
Fortunately, my senior moment passed and I enjoyed this set as much as anything other than the MBB.
To quote a long forgotten song, Nikki has That Certain Smile a smile that immediately brings you into her aura and, when she plays, you realise she has plenty to smile about - 1000 ships? That's nothing! 
Norma Winstone has been around longer than most of today's other singers but you wouldn't think it. The night previous she'd been playing a gig in Leipzig yet jetlag was still catching up on her!
She sounded as good as ever.
On tenor, Lockheart has a refreshingly Getzian approach - reminding us all that it didn't begin and end with Trane but that lyricism still has a place although, like the latterday Stan, Mark can put the boot in when the occasion demands it.
Mike Walker is a long established name on the modern/contemporary guitar scene and his solos were perfect for this band.
Steve Watts did the bass duties well whilst James Maddren is one of those drummers who you only notice when he's not on the gig - which isn't very often irrespective of the genre!
And of course, Nikki - just love her.
The material was exquisite: Foxy Trot (Kenny Wheeler); Stars (Fred Hersch); The Glide (Ralph Towner); Two Grey Rooms (Joni Mitchell); Tideway (Iles/Winstone). A blast on Just in Time where Norma played Ella in her scat vocal routine and maybe even won! And... The Heather on the Hill. The best ever version of this rarely played, at a jazz gig, song from Brigadoon.
What a day this has been...
Lance.

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