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Saturday, December 08, 2018

JB's Cats @ Sage Gateshead - Dec 8

Bradley Johnston (MD); Lucien Guest (trumpet, flugelhorn); Nathan Lawson (guitar); Tom Henery (guitar); Alex Shipsey (bass guitar); Gemma Watson (drums)
(Review by Russell)

As the saying goes: When the boss is away the cats will play...or something like that. JB, that's James Birkett, was elsewhere fulfilling a long-standing concert engagement so Bradley Johnston stepped in to keep an eye on things. 

JB's Cats comprises members of Sage Gateshead's Centre for Advanced Training. This evening's short concert set consisted of five numbers performed by an accomplished teenage quintet. One or two of the cats are veterans - sixth formers! - of prestigious jazz festivals and high-quality jam sessions, the others no slouches when it comes to playing jazz. 

No More BluesWaltz for Debby featuring the mature-beyond-his-years guitar playing of Nathan Lawson and fellow guitarist Tom Henery (heard recently with Jambone) then Monk a la funk - Well, You Needn't - heard our guitarists soloing again cajoled by the funky bass and drums cats Alex Shipsey and Gemma Watson. 

MD Johnston stood to one side allowing his young charges to play. And they played on...Mal Waldron's Soul Eyes a flugelhorn feature for the impressive Lucien Guest, and to close, a funky take on Now's the Time. There is one more opportunity this term to hear JB's Cats. Early (sometime from 11:00am) on Saturday (Dec 15) the ensemble will be entertaining visitors to Sage Gateshead. Why not take a break from the rigours of festive shopping and look in on the South Bank (aka Sage Gateshead)?  

Russell

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