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Sunday, August 30, 2020

Dean Stockdale Trio @ St James' & St Basil's - August 30

Dean Stockdale (piano); Mick Shoulder (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums)

Another in St James' and St Basil's regular Sunday afternoon concert series, today featuring the Dean Stockdale Trio. Against expectations the sun shone. The forecast suggested a maximum temperature of 14° but on the day it was comfortably above that figure. The spacious church grounds in Fenham, Newcastle, were well populated with socially distanced supporters there to enjoy a swinging set of jazz.

Mingus' Nostalgia in Times Square opened the programme. The number can be found on pianist Dean Stockdale's Origin album from 2016 and it was good to hear it performed once more in a live setting. Rodgers and Hart's My Romance illustrated Stockdale's invention, playing chorus after chorus with bassist Mick Shoulder and drummer Russ Morgan cruising alongside.


Russ Morgan quickly established himself as one of the region's first call drummers when he relocated to Tyneside some five years ago and On the Sunny Side of the Street demonstrated that he has the art of playing brushes down to a tee. This was exemplary musicianship. Another cut from the Origin album titled Another Time confirmed Stockdale as a composer of note; lyrical, melodic, measured. As the sun shone the trio closed a fine first set with They Can't Take That Away From Me. An image of Fred Astaire singing and dancing came to mind.

The interval allowed time for a catch up with numerous other jazz fans who've been out of circulation for some time.  The consensus...it was great to be back!
In a Sentimental Mood resumed affairs. Classic Duke, you can't go wrong. More Rodgers and Hart with, perhaps, the tune of the day - Have You Met Miss Jones? Stockdale is a big fan of Oscar Peterson (our man from Darlington reminded us that the late, great Canadian would have turned 95 on the 15th of this month) and the 1937 standard swung like Peterson's trios always did.  This was great stuff which included Morgan's mini masterclass in hand drumming plus a spotlight solo for good measure with bassist Mick Shoulder alongside who was, as ever, right on the money. And talking of OP, Hymn for Freedom from the much-loved Night Train album hit home with Stockdale saying something like It is a song for our times

Two more to close a sunny Sunday afternoon, Billie's Bounce to commemorate yesterday's 100th anniversary of the birth of Charlie Parker with Stockdale quoting Now's the Time and an unusual, but effective, choice, the late Ennio Morricone's Love Theme from 1988's Cinema Paradiso. It had been a most enjoyable afternoon and with autumn just around the corner (the Met Office considers September 1 to be the first day of autumn) perhaps it's time to look to indoor performance here at St James' and St Basil's and at the many other venues across the region with the proviso all events are Covid-secure. Yesterday's salute to Charlie Parker was BIRD LIVES! Today, tomorrow and for ever more it's JAZZ LIVES!    
Russell 

2 comments :

Roly said...

Absolute class.

Brian Shine said...

What a marvellous turnout, my first jazz outing since the lockdown, great to catch up with the regular jazzers and what a pleasure it was to listen to Dean Stockdale's trio, lets hope for many more jazz gigs indoors.

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