Rebop at Jazznights at The Bell 18th April 2010

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A welcome return by this popular repertory band featuring a new program of compositions by Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Oliver Nelson and others as well as their bebop classics. They feature a hard-hitting front line of Paul Higgs (trp), Kevin Flanagan (alto) and Colin Watling (ten).

Rebop is a jazz repertory aggregation specialising in the arcane art of bebop and related music. Formed originally as a quintet to examine the repertoire of the modern jazz explosion circa 1944-1949, Rebop is now a six-piece and also features a faithful homage to the Miles Davis Sextet of 1958-59.

Band Members
Kevin Flanagan – alto saxophone; Paul Higgs – trumpet; Colin Watling – tenor saxophone; Chris Ingham – piano; Andrew J. Brown – bass; Roger Odell – drums

A personal favourite opened the first set, the 1947 Green Dolphin street with intro from Chris Ingham on piano and joined Andrew Brown on bass and Roger on drums. Paul Higgs on trumpet opened for the front line followed by Colin Watling on Tenor and Kevin Flanagan – a great start to the first set. Crazeology written by Benny Harris for Charlie Parker (a tune based on Gershwin’s I Got Rhythm) followed.

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John Lewis’s 1947 Milestones with its convoluted chord changes and so many harmonic bottlenecks was played with great panache and duly received a great reception from the full house audience. Miles Davis’s Donna Lee with its legendary difficult chord changes was interestingly introduced by a short traditional version of Indiana on which Donna Lee was based featured high speed four bar breaks between the front line and Roger on drums. In total contrast, the technical mastery of Chris Ingham was featured on Vernon Duke’s Autumn In New York as well as Kevin Flanagan playing the Charlie Parker part of his version.

The last number of the first set was Miles Davis’s version Seven Steps To Heaven written by Victor Feldman although he never played with Miles. Apparently he was offered a post with the Miles band but declined as he was making too much money at the time as a session musician!!!

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The second set opened from the Kind Of Blue album followed by Duke Pearson’s melodic classic from the Cannonball Adderley album: Them Dirty Blues. The Rodgers and Hart ballad My Funny Valentine featured a wonderful solo by Paul Higgs on trumpet playing the Miles Davis part. A Charlie Parker swing blues was followed by Flamenco Sketches which is a series of five scales, each to be played for as long as the soloist wishes until he has completed the series. Chris Ingham referred to it as a “meditatively mature” number. A superb showcase for the Rebop front line.

Details and future gigs at www.jazz-nights.com

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