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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.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

DJazz Day One. Friday, June 7 - Arun Ghosh @ Durham Miners Hall (Redhills).


Arun Ghosh (clarinet); Faye MacCalman (tenor sax); John Ellis (keyboard); Matt Owens (double bass); Dave Walsh (drums).
(Review by Steve T/ Photo courtesy of Ken Drew).

I'd seen Arun Ghosh three times previous and enjoyed it each time, but could never have foreseen he would give the Third Durham City Jazz Festival such a resounding opening. 

This is one of the finest spaces in a city loaded with fantastic spaces, including one of - and if you've lived in Durham - the finest buildings in the world, though I still can't quite believe those old pit-men didn't have the foresight to include a bar, but I quibble.

Ghosh entered the stage and immediately stamped his authority, his hair cropped since I last saw him, a white frock over jeans and ox-blood Docs laying out his multi-cultural credentials.
 They opened with Caliban's Revenge, a live warhorse from his second album, and he was all over it from the off.  Always a mobile performer, tonight he never seemed to stand still, contorting his body and interpolating his hip-hop hand gestures more than on previous gigs.

His considerable technique on the clarinet seemed up on previous performances too, exercising wonderful control and subtlety when the mood required it, as on his tribute to the River Wear, based on Bengali folk music, where he sat on the edge of the stage for the start. I don't know the title of this piece but I remember him dedicating it to the Tyne during a Sage Two performance. 

He shared with us that he'd walked the riverbanks earlier and crossed the Wear but, not getting carried away with his white robe, he'd used a bridge. Always a charismatic performer, the audience quickly warmed to his jokes, anecdotes and introductions, rewarding each piece with rapturous applause and cheers, which would continue through much of the festival. 

I was told afterwards he'd only played six numbers and one was Smash Through the Gates of Thought (I think) and another was Longside Lagoon, after an area of Manchester I'm reliably informed.

The band were great too, featuring our very own Faye on tenor, Leeds powerhouse drummer Dave Walsh and fine piano and bass from Ellis and Owens respectively, but it was all about Ghosh, on stupendous form and in full control.
Steve T.

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