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12,535 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 254 of them this year alone and, so far, 105 this month (Feb. 24).

Sunday, February 02, 2020

Denise Gordon @ Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club - Feb 1

Denise Gordon (vocals); Rico Tomasso (trumpet, vocals); John Hallam (tenor sax, clarinet); Tom Kincaid (piano); Jim Swinnerton (double bass); Jack Cotterill (drums)
(Review by Russell)

A first visit to Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club by Denise Gordon and on the evidence of this performance it won't be her last. Jazz, blues, soul, rhythm and blues and a touch of gospel, Ms Gordon's vocals are those of a genuine soulful voice as good as, perhaps better, than many 'big name' singers. 

From her Northamptonshire roots Denise Gordon has gone on to grace the biggest (Glastonbury) and most prestigious (Ronnie's) of stages. Here at St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington the engaging performer cannot have worked with many better musicians than Rico Tomasso, trumpet, John Hallam, reeds and pianist Tom Kincaid's accomplished trio featuring bassist Jim Swinnerton and drummer Jack Cottterill. 

Ms Gordon's set ranged from New Orleans' Bourbon Street Parade to The Darktown Strutters' Ball to a tip-of-the-hat BB King blues (Sonny Boy Williamson's Early in the Morning) to knockabout Louis Prima Jump, Jive an' Wail and Them There Eyes (Gordon and Tomasso making eyes in a vocal duet) to heartfelt, powerful gospel singing on Caanan Land and Just a Closer Walk with Thee.

Rico Tomasso is 'box office' on whichever gig he's on with his superb Louis Armstrong inspired trumpet playing augmented by equally inspired Louis Armstrong style vocals. St James' Infirmary illustrated the point - measured vocal delivery, incisive trumpet playing...Louis Lives!

John Hallam is the sort of musician who is at home whatever the occasion. A fluent clarinetist, warm, breathy tenor saxophone playing, today's engagement found the amiable reedsman in an unobtrusive supporting role, stepping up when called upon to produce an apposite solo. Tom Kincaid is a top of the bill attraction in his own right and Denise Gordon happily referred to Tomasso, Hallam, Kincaid, Swinnerton and Cotterill as her 'all-stars'. Ms Gordon and her All-Stars went out on In the Sweet By and By. Hallelujah!            
Russell

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