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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.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra @ the Dun Cow, Jesmond - Nov. 19

(Review/photos by Lance)

Bass guitarist Ifede Osiyami led from the front aided and abetted by a cast of, seemingly, thousands. It was a no names no pack drill so my apologies for the lack of individual identification.

The sitters in and the sitters out were having a good old jolly jam. End of term was approaching and the students from Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra were letting their hair down.

The material was fairly predictable, albeit often with an unusual twist. For example neither Monk’s Blue Monk nor Garner’s Misty were taken at the tempo devised by the composers – but what did they know? Against my better judgement, I found myself quite liking Misty played as a fast stomp rather than a dreamy ballad. And 3 saxes blowing Take Five in unison also added a different dimension.

All Blues preceded Blue Bossa which brought Tom Alcorn to the stand and his playing brought to mind Strictly Smokin’ leader Michael Lamb which isn’t a bad yardstick for any trumpet player. A fast Mr PC, My Favorite Things and Four kept the party mood going.  A couple of trombonists wandered in and out – one may have been from the Bold Big Band who blew a good solo on Misty and the other was Kate Garnett who graduated from Jambone – Summa Cum Laude I would guess.

The first of several vocalists took the mic. Again my apologies for failing to get names but this lady had style and scatted impressively on It Don’t Mean a Thing although she occasionally do wah do wahed when she shouldn’t have do wahed at all. No crime, I’ve heard long established singers fall into the same trap. Ipanema was sung quite appealingly and I’ll look forward to hearing her again in a more organised setting.

Interval time and the walls must have been made of elastic to accommodate the nonstop stream of students heading for the bar and I don’t mean they were budding lawyers although some probably would be in future.

Boy did I feel old!

Still, music is a great equaliser and All of Me, which opened the second set, was composed before even I was born let alone the front line of 2 clarinets, 1 soprano sax and 1 alto sax - their combined ages are probably less than mine!

Another vocal. A couple of guys singing Fly Me to the Moon with a nice sop solo in the middle. An instrumental, the Theme from Black Orpheus, and then another girl singer. This, again unnamed, chanteuse gave us the old Bobby Darin classic Beyond the Sea.

Hit the Road Jack sang another male duo. Presumably there wasn’t anyone in the room called Jack – well there wouldn’t be would there? Perhaps a Tristan or two – as nobody hit the road. It was, arguably, the best number so far.

Dream a Little Dream of me sang a girl who looked nothing like Mama Cass and had a voice not unlike northeast favourite Debra Milne.

Bass and drums brought in A Night in Tunisia with a devastating trumpet blast from Alcorn and a nice alto solo from someone else.

Jordu, I think, took us into extra time (already I had visions of the neighbours complaining of noise pollution) but, if we thought it was all over, it wasn’t as the action moved to the dance floor where musicians and dancers gyrated to It’s Not Unusual which was unusual for a jazz jam. It was at this point that the Metro beckoned and I left although the music followed me for at least 100 yards.

If anyone would care to supply me with names please do.
Lance.

2 comments :

Emily Clare (NUJO) said...

Thanks for coming to our Jazz Jam last night I’ve got some names from last night that are missing if that’s useful for you

Misty - Alex Utting - former NUJO

It Don't Mean a Thing - Katharine Hurwitz

Fly Me to the Moon - Siegfried Aylward and Aaron Turner

Hit the Road Jack - Kit Giroux and Connor Polley

Night in Tunisia - alto - Pippa Morgan

Then Soprano Sax was Jake Stephens

Lance said...

Thanks Emily. Incidentally, given that there are a number of jams going on in and around town, any of last nights' players would be welcome to drop by at any of the them. Check out the listings.

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