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In the current climate we are doing our best to keep everyone up to date. All gigs, as we all know, are off.

However, good old YouTube has plenty to offer both old and new to help us survive whilst housebound. Plus now is a good time to stock up on your CDs.

Also, keep an eye out for live streaming sessions.

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Today

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.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Keswick Jazz & Blues Festival: The Vitality Five - May 10


Michael McQuaid (tenor sax, clarinet, cornet, vocals); David Horniblow (bass sax, clarinet); Andrew Oliver (piano); Tom 'Spats' Langham (banjo); Nick Ball (drums)
(Review by Russell)

The Vitality Five, one of the big draws at Keswick, attracted a full house to Southey St Church for the mid-afternoon set. One change to the line-up - no Martin Wheatley, replaced by the more than capable 'Spats' Langham. The Vitality Five are self-confessed obsessives searching out rare 78s, transcribing the music (the more obscure the better!), trying to outdo one another in the obscurity stakes: Hey! Look what I found the other day!    

The Five's reedsman Michael McQuaid blazed a trail on the opener - That's A Plenty - playing clarinet and maintained the 'hot' start on Jelly Roll's Steamboat Stomp (see photo - l to r McQuaid, Nick Ball, David Horniblow). The Five's members took it in turn to introduce numbers with entertaining and informative insights, none more so than McQuaid revealing he'd recently received an email from the grandson of the New Orleans Owls' Benji White thanking him for researching and performing material from way back. The Vitality Five's collective improvisation did the Owls proud - a match for any present-day 'improvising' musician.   

Pianist Andrew Oliver and bass saxophonist David Horniblow recently embarked upon 'The Complete Morton Project' which involves learning (and recording?) something like one hundred of Jelly Roll Morton's many compositions. Here at Keswick, they played Courthouse Bump, a bass sax feature illustrating Morton's compositional ideas which evidently hold appeal for today's' improvising musicians. 

The multi-talented McQuaid switched to cornet in tribute to Red Nichols as the Five played a hot, hot, hot That's No Bargain. In terms of programme content, presentation and audience engagement the Vitality Five leave many others standing.      
Russell

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