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Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Darlington Jazz Festival: Sebastiaan de Krom Quintet @ The Market Square Marquee - May 4


Martin Shaw (trumpet); Brandon Allen (tenor saxophone); Gareth Williams (piano); Steve Watts (double bass); Sebastiaan de Krom (drums)
(Review by Russell)

The idea of a town centre marquee to help promote this year's jazz festival to a wider public must have seemed like a good idea...on paper. What the festival organisers couldn't have bargained for were near Arctic conditions on the middle evening of the three-day event. An industrial size heater intermittently pumped hot air into the tent. As the audience huddled together coats remained firmly buttoned. 


Friend of Darlington Jazz Festival Sebastiaan de Krom returned to the County Durham town with his all-star band in tow. The band leader and three of his buddies opted for jackets, the odd one out, the hard man of the quintet, Steve Watts, played it in shirt sleeves. The easy-going de Krom spoke warmly (warmly!) of the work put in by festival director Shaune Eland and his team to make the event the success it is and the many friendly faces he encountered around town.

Drummer de Krom selected an all Miles' programme. Two sets of music written by, or associated with, trumpeter Miles Davis proved to be a popular draw. Miles' musical partner from way back - Charlie Parker - provided an early highlight (Ah-Leu-Cha), similarly Jackie McLean's Little Melonae with solos spread across the quintet; the horns - Martin Shaw (trumpet) and the musically muscular Aussie tenor saxophonist Brandon Allen - flanked on their right by a rather frozen-looking Gareth Willams (piano), de Krom himself operating in the shadows to their left with hard man Watts surveying all before him from the back of the stage.

As the cold set in pianist Williams stopped mid-solo to blow on his hands - the group huddle sympathised! Budo (comp. Miles Davis and/or Bud Powell) led into modal-era Miles on Dear Old Stockholm featuring a fine solo from Watts who was a tower of strength all night. The setlist
 contained a string of numbers recorded by de Krom's subject; Our Delight (Tadd Dameron), All of You (Cole Porter) with Williams sufficient warmed-up to knock out a great solo, the ostensibly odd choice of Sweet Sue, Just YouRound Midnight and, to close, Teo, Miles' tribute to influential producer Teo Macero. 

It had been a night for hardy souls, those who stuck with it heard some tremendous jazz from the ensemble and its A-list soloists. Sebastiaan de Krom is a man of sunny disposition, just what Dr Jazz ordered on a night such as this.     
Russell

1 comment :

Jim Hall (on F/b) said...

How these guys played such mesmerising jazz when the temperature must have been close to freezing beggars belief true pros, that’s why they’re at the top of the tree. Must mention Gareth Williams great chordal and solo work.

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