Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Erf, erf, erf.

The last couple of days have been harder than they needed to be and in three days’ time it is the summer solstice – the longest day. Its downhill from then on and I could do without that. When I went out last night I could feel a cool, slow breeze that will always remind me of sitting around a campfire in wild places in June. Watching the last wisps of the sun disappear before the stars came out – far later than they should.

‘White nights’, the best there are.

Up at the Red Lion;

 It all started with ‘Drifter’ by Herbie Hancock the trumpet, Saxophone and piano linking in together tight and disciplined, no gaps in that door.

That was followed by ‘Here’s that rainy day’, with Trevor Tomkins using one brush and one stick and pretty soon entering his ‘zone’ as you can see here;


 Clifford Brown’s ‘Tiny Capers’, set the scene for the evening; more head than heart. Slower and steadier rather than the fast and furious of last week – as you know I’m always in a fairly fast and furious sort of mood.

 Then, the first of many ballads – ‘Body and Soul’ – both brushes out now on the drums. Ed Jones was expressive and like me, exploring somewhere else on his sax while on ‘It could happen to you’, in complete contrast, Leon Greening’s keyboard playing got more frenetic, he got more hunched over, his hands more blurred and his hair getting closer to the keys with each chord, hammering out the rhythm of a summer night still a little streaked with light well after 10pm.

Hank Mobley’s ‘Roll Call’ got the trumpet, sax and piano close and tight again.

From then on, it was away with Henry Amberg-Jennings trumpet and out with the flugelhorn as the ballads got quieter and quieter.

Andrew Cleyndert’s bass, quiet and precise got more prominent as the other instruments fell back.

I could have done with a good stomping – I’ll have to find that somewhere else, but this was a long languid June night and the music was a match.

On the way home I put in my latest entry for the least appropriate music to play after a jazz gig – I put in Kraftwerk and drove into the night listening to ‘Autobahn’ as the lampposts and white lines regularly and rhythmically ticked past.

Where did summer go?

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production) 
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(All photos taken indoors from the back of the hall with the flash turned off on a 3meg camera bought in a charity shop for £11-99p. Erf, erf, erf.)

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