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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.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Ushaw Jazz Festival (Day 3, Afternoon Part Two) John Pope Quintet - August 25

John Pope (double bass); Graham Hardy (trumpet/flugelhorn); Faye MacCalman (tenor sax/clarinet); Chris Biscoe (alto/baritone sax); Johnny Hunter (drums).
(Review by Lance)

The opening free form blast made my hair stand on end and I prepared to jump out of the open window (ground floor!) then, suddenly, it morphed into a swingy ensemble that could have been Mingus - I moved back from the window. Which was a good thing as it turned out to be a great couple of sets. Sure, one or two ot the solos approached the edge of my comfort zone but not many and the overall feeling was good.

It had been many years since I'd heard Chris Biscoe and, like Tony Kofi the night before, never on baritone. Chris is one of the relatively unsung heroes of British jazz slotting into whatever genre at both ends of the spectrum. Impressed. Chris was doing for jazz what, simultaneously, Ben Stokes (second innings) was doing for English cricket and Newcastle for northeast football (Spurs 0-Newcastle 1).

Like Stokesy, Chris wasn't doing it alone, Graham Hardy was sizzling on trumpet - he's taken plunger-playing to a new northeast level - whilst Faye on tenor and clarinet held her own with the legend on her left. On a day of records, surely two different Fayes playing sax in two consecutive sessions must be worthy of mention somewhere?

The whole shebang was driven mercilessly along by Johnny Hunter. Here's another one for the record books. The UK's (arguably) two greatest drummers on two consecutive gigs - second one coming up...

However, the real man of the hour, was without doubt the appropriately surnamed John Pope who composed, arranged, played bass and announced - he even managed to conduct from the rear!

Great gig - Bravo all five.
Lance 

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