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Monday, November 19, 2018

Quintet of the Year (2018): Mick Shoulder Quintet @ the Black Bull, Blaydon - Nov. 18.

Graham Hardy (trumpet/flugelhorn); Lewis Watson (tenor sax); Dean Stockdale (piano); Mick Shoulder (bass); Russ Morgan (drums).
(Review/photos by Lance. Photo of Graham Hardy courtesy of Roly Veitch).
The original Quintet of the Year comprised Dizzy, Bird, Bud Powell, Mingus and Max Roach. The concert took place in Toronto in 1953 and featured five of the greatest modern jazz musicians ever. Since then, there have been other bands worthy of the title including Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, the Horace Silver Quintet and the UK's own version - The Jazz Couriers.

All three groups were referenced at Blaydon Jazz Club last night in a well-attended session by a band that must surely qualify for this year's title and I don't mean just on Tyneside but as far afield as you care to mention.

Undoubtedly the promise of a rare appearance by Lewis Watson was an attraction and he more than lived up to expectation - he was tremendous. However, the four other guys kept apace with him and I doubt if I've heard any of them play better.

Hardy met fire with fire, Stockdale made a mockery of the sign at the back of the stage saying 'Can you play the piano? Give us a tune'. Dean gave them a tune alright!

Russ Morgan was his usual phenomenal self - sticks, brushes, hands, he is the real deal. As for leader Mick, less flamboyant in solo than the others but on the money when it came to meaningful moments both rhythm wise and when he did grab the spotlight. Mick also wrote the arrangements - scores that captured the essence of the originals.

I'm currently reading a book on Dexter Gordon - review soon - and the music that leaped from the pages seemed to have landed at Blaydon.

Let Will Shakespeare have the last word:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed,
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here.
(Henry V).
More photos.
Lance.

That Old Feeling; Backstage Sally; On the Ginza; Thursday's theme; Voodoo Blues; Moanin'; Swingin' the Samba; Whisper Not; Nica's Dream; Cheek to Cheek.

1 comment :

jeremy robert edis said...

Don't feel entirely accursed (in Saigon, drinking craft beer) but would have teleported to Blaydon if that technology had been available! So pleased there was a good turnout. Hope to be at the Black Bull for whatever is next.
JERRY

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