Jazz IS alive

Keep in touch for jazz dates and venues in the Swindon area. Please note that the blogger (who set this site up for Dave Knight) receives information second-hand and lives on the other side of the country! More information on the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jazz-Knights/544313058974889

Sunday, 14 April 2013

REVIEW - ANDY HAGUE QUINTET PLUS ED JONES, BAKER STREET, SWINDON

Andy Hague has long been a stalwart on the West Country jazz scene and beyond. His present UK tour confirms that he has lost none of his enthusiasm and love of the music, and his current quintet has matured into a fine outfit.

On the night, this impression was confirmed by the addition of the experienced guest Ed Jones on tenor sax. Taking up the challenge of arranging for this extra instrument, Andy adjusted his charts for this gig, and the three-part voicings for the front line created an exciting, fat sound on the ensemble passages. Ben Waghorn, also a wonderful tenor player in his own right, kept to alto sax for the occasion and Andy himself provided the brass element on trumpet and flugelhorn. This front line was backed by Jim Blomfield on keyboard, another musician who is gaining deserved recognition in jazz circles; also making waves are Will Harris on double bass, providing a sophisticated metronome pulse, combined with Mark Whitlam's exuberant 'Elvin  Jones' drum machine.

The musical content for the evening was diverse but tending towards a satisfying hard bop feel. We heard material by Charles Toliver, Jimmy Heath, Billy Strayhorn, Marcus Printup, Horace Silver, Wayne Shorter and Lee Morgan, with several Andy Hague originals - Tranquil Moment being a fine balladic slow samba.
 
Ann Ronell's Willow Weep For Me is a pretty tune. Played using the riff-motif of Miles Davis' All Blues as a rhythmic device behind the melody showed an engaging arranging touch by the sextet leader and allowed Ben, Jim and Will to blossom. For me, though, the highlight was a more traditional melody: Weaver Of Dreams by Victor Young gave full rein to Ed Jones' fertile tenor sax and Andy Hague's winsome flugelhorn.

The expanding Baker Street jazz audience warmed to this Bristol-based band, an easy to listen to, friendly combo - not a primal donnal amongst them! All this for FREE.

                                                                                                Keith Brain
  
Andy Hague quintet plus Ed Jones - photo by Keith Brain

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