Brownfield/Byrne Quintet - 24 November 2012
photos by Katherine Hannaford
Jamie Brownfield (trumpet), Liam Byrne (tenor sax), Andy Hulme (guitar), Nick Blacka (bass), Marek Dorcik (drums)
Having attended many of the Shrewsbury Jazz Concerts at the Hive over the past few years, this one was unique in more than one respect.
Not only did it feature a local musician, Jamie Brownfield, who had recently won a major national award (Rising Star, British Jazz Awatds 2012), but also that this outstanding performer is incredibly still only 20 years old, an age at which I’m sure many of us were still in our relative infancy in terms of developing an awareness of jazz, let alone any sort of critical appreciation or practical musical ability.
However, possibly even more importantly, the concert programme was also unique in its content, in the main ignoring contemporary music and instead drawing upon the rich vein of classical works from acknowledged greats such as Ellington, Armstrong, Beiderbecke, Rheinhardt, and even Tchaikovksy.
Even some of the more recent (i.e. postwar!) numbers were in fact reworked versions based on the chord sequences of tunes of older origin, e.g. ‘Split Kick’ (There Will Never be Another You), ‘Dig’ (Sweet Georgia Brown), ‘Nostalgia’ (Out of Nowhere), ‘Diana Lee’ (Way Back Home in Indiana), etc.
In case the casual reader would immediately assume that the music would be therefore necessarily hackneyed and unworthy of further consideration, nothing could be further from the case.
The arrangements produced by Liam Byrne and often featuring the two lead instruments playing in tight close harmony, were, without exception, outstandingly innovative and were exquisitely performed by this extremely talented group of young musicians.
The nature of the improvising by the soloists was firmly rooted in the bop era of the 50s/60s; the fluency of Jamie’s playing in particular has already frequently likened him to being a ‘young Clifford Brown’, a comment which speaks for itself.
For the record, the programme was as follows:-
1. Split Kick (Horace Silver 1954)
2. On the Sunny Side of the Street (Jimmy McHugh 1930)
3. Way Down Yonder in New Orleans (John Turner Layton, Jr – 1922)
4. Singin’ the Blues (Sam Lewis, Joe Young, Con Conrad, J. Russel Robinson – 1927)
5. Dig (Jackie McLean – 1951)
6. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy (Tchaikovsky – 1892)
7. Nostalgia (Fats Navarro)
8. Mood Indigo (Duke Ellington – 1930)
9. Better Go (Ben Webster, Harry Edison – 1962)
10. Black and Tan Fantasy (Duke Ellington – 1927)
11. Happy Feet Blues (Wynton Marsalis)
12. Diana Lee (Liam Byrne)
13. West End Blues (Joe Oliver – 1928)
14. Move (Denzil Best - 1949)
15. I Can’t Give You Anything but Love, Baby (Jimmy McHugh – 1928)
16. Nuages (Django Reinhardt – 1940)
17. Tickle Toe (Lester Young – 1940)
18. Ivy Divy (Liam Byrne)
The band has already proved popular at both ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ styled jazz festivals, which only goes to prove that there are indeed two styles of jazz, namely ‘good’ and ‘bad’. This band is emphatically in the former category.
Thanks to Dave Margaroni for this review
Now see what you missed with this video clip thanks to Casey Greene.
photos by Katherine Hannaford
partikel - 15th September 2012
It was another amazing night of jazz in Shrewsbury town centre. Thoroughly enjoyed by both the band and the audience.
See the review on the Hive website. Thanks to Lance Chase for these pictures.
The Magic Hat Ensemble, The Hive, Shrewsbury, 10th April 2010
Review by Ian Mann (www.thejazzmann.com)
The Manchester based quintet Magic Hat Ensemble kicked off their UK spring tour with this enjoyable and entertaining evening at The Hive Arts Centre in Shrewsbury. Ironically the group’s itinerary brings them to my home town of Leominster on 16th April to play the town’s intimate Blue Note venue. By the time I’d learnt of this I’d already committed myself to covering Michael Janisch’s Saxophone Summit band in Pontypool so my only chance to catch up with the Hatters was here at Shrewsbury.