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Rebop’s Kevin Flanagan and Colin Watling feature in a “Battle of the Saxes” brought to mind the famous saxophone duets of John Coltrane/Sonny Rollins and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis/Coleman Hawkins. This proved to be a night of hard swinging fireworks from these two brilliant musicians in a programme drawn from the classic 40’s to 60’s period of modern jazz.Tenor Madness features the tenor saxophones of Kevin Flanagan & Colin Watling with a great rhythm section of PETER LEMER (keys), BERNIE HODGKINS (bs) & RUSS MORGAN (drs)
Kevin Flanagan comes from Lowell MA, USA. He has been involved in jazz and blues, both recording and performing. He settled in the UK Kevin Flanagan Rebop Jazznights 180410 (7)in 1985, playing with his own group and with musicians such as Dick Morrissey, Alan Barnes, Gerard Precenser, and Dave Cliff. He has made two successful CDs with Chris Ingham as the Flanagan-Ingham Quartet.
Kevin comes from Lowell, Mass., USA. He initially studied music and philosophy at the University of New Hampshire, and was part of Antares, a free improvisatory group that toured the New England through the mid-70s to early 80s. During this period he was also involved in jazz, blues, and popular music, both recording and performing. He settled in the UK in the mid-80s, and worked on the London jazz and pop scene, playing and recording with members of Pink Floyd, Ben E. King, the Sex Pistols, Jools Holland, Led Zeppelin, B.B. King, Portishead, and many others. By the late 1980s he was primarily involved with jazz, playing with his own )group or with musicians such as Dick Morrissey, Alan Barnes, Dave Newton, Gerard Precenser, Don Weller, Dave Cliff, Mark Edwards, Adrian Utley, and the Tommy Chase quartet around the festivals of the UK and Europe
Colin Watling specialises in tenor sax and offers the full gamut of musical styles in his performances from soft and mellow, through to boppy and brassy….. and always in great humour. Colin is rated by many as one of the most exciting tenor saxophonists on the circuit with his melodic, swinging sound. He is a mainstay of the region’s jazz scene, the Hertfordshire-based tenor sax colossus.
The two tenors played with the Jazznights Trio who were:
Peter Lemer – Keyboards
is an English jazz musician. He has worked with the Pete Lemer Quintet, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, Annette Peacock, Harry Beckett, Gilgamesh, Baker Gurvitz Army, Seventh Wave, Harry Beckett’s Joy Unlimited, Pierre Jazznights Emily Dankworth 020314 (114)Moerlen’s Gong, Mike Oldfield Group, In Cahoots, Miller/Baker/Lemer. He currently works with In Cahoots, Peter Lemer Trio/Quartet, Barbara Thompson’s Paraphernalia, and the Peter Lemer-Billy Thompson Quartet and Duo. Peter made his recording debut as a leader (Local Colour) in 1996, the band by then including Jon Hiseman, John Surman, George Khan and Tony Reeves. A year in New York followed, which included extensive jamming, gigging and study. Coaches included famed jazz pianists Jaki Byard and Paul Bley and Double Bass guru David Walters. He also studied at the Royal Academy of Music and included Tommy Rajnaand Sven Weber among his classical coaches. In 1969, he worked with the Spontaneous Music Ensemble. In the last few years, Lemer has remained a fixture of In Cahoots – he can be heard on Parallel (1996), Out Of The Blue (2001), All That (2003) and Conspiracy Theories (2006), most of which also feature his writing – as well as playing one-off gigs with old friends Steve Cook (bass) and Roger Odell (drums), recording an album with them in Israel.
Russ Morgan – drums
Russ has played alongside players such as saxophonist Kevin Flanagan, pianist Chris Ingham, guitarist Pete Oxley, and reed player Mark Lockheart. Along with the latter two players, Morgan joined rhythm-section partner bassist Steve Watts in a 2003 quartet inquisitively named Curious Paradise. Some of the drummer’s playing is in the mainstream jazz style approaching the crossroads of hard bop, in which a Sonny Rollins admirer such as Flanagan can cruise comfortably. Morgan has received eloquent praise for his work in such surroundings; jazz critics say he is “never fussy or intrusive in his playing, really listening to what is going on around him.”
Bernie Hodgkins – Double Bass
Inspired by an uncle, who played and recorded with Django Reinhart and Stephane Grappelli in the legendary Quintet de Hot Club of France, Bernie grew up in a Jazz-oriented family. Their influence led him to become a respected bass player behind such people as Matt Munroe, Dickie Valentine and Dennis Lotus, in the early stages of his career.
Touring in Europe and further afield with a wide variety of artists honed his skills and added to his prodigious repertoire. Supports to players like John Scofield, and singers such as Annie Ross always proved inspirational and served to reinforce his enduring love affair with jazz.
Spending much of his time in the recording studios, he is equally at home and in demand as an enthusiastic “live” rhythm section player, as is testified by his work with Don Rendell, Jack Parnell, George Chisholm, Pete Jacobson, John Etheridge, Kenny Baker, Allan Skidmore, Dave O’Higgins and many others.
The first set included the following numbers:
Billie’s Bounce (also known as “Bill’s Bounce”) is a jazz composition written in 1945 by Charlie Parker in the form of a 12 bar F blues. It was dedicated to Billy Shaw – Billie, the secretary of Dizzy’s agent Billy Shaw
Bernie’s Tune (1953) Music by Bernie Miller, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stollerwas popularized by the Gerry Mulligan Quartet when their recording of it and “Lullaby of the Leaves” became a hit in 1952.6 Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise is a song with music by Sigmund Romberg and Oscar Hammerstein
As a jazz standard, I’ll Remember April written by Gene De Paul first appeared in a rather unlikely performance. Dick Foran introduced the song in the 1942 Abbott and Costello comedy Ride ‘Em Cowboy.
Autumn in New York (1934) written by Vernon Duke and was popularised in the jazz field by Charlie Parker on his “with strings” albums
Speak Low (1943) is a popular song composed by Kurt Weill and is a popular jazz standard that has been widely recorded.
Following the interval and the Jazznights raffle of 4 jazz cd’s and a bottle of wine the quintet returned for the second set which included the following:
Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise is a song with music by Sigmund Romberg and Oscar Hammerstein II from the 1928 operetta The New Moon of which there have been many jazz renditions by John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis and Stan Getz tonamer but a few.
In Walked Bud a 1947 jazz composition by Thelonious Monk. It was based on the chord progression of an earlier standard, Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies” (1927). The song was a tribute to jazz pianist Bud Powell.
Body and Soul is a popular song and jazz standard written in 1930 and remains a jazz standard, with hundreds of versions performed and recorded by dozens of artists.
Anthropology from 1946) (also known as “Thriving From a Riff” or “Thriving on a Riff”) Written by Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie
Oscar Pettifrord’s Titoro played just by the Trio, Peter Lemer, Bernie Hodgkins abd Russ Morgan while the tenor’s went for a quick beer!
The finale and what a fantastic conclusion and very apt tune – Tenor Madness which is a jazz album by Sonny Rollins. It is most notable for its title track, the only known recording featuring both Rollins and John Coltrane.
As Gareth Williams-James our MC pointed out the only madness should be deserved for all those who did not come to this stupendous gig by five master musicians including two tenor giants.
CHRISTINE TOBIN (vocals) & PHIL ROBSON (guitar) will be at Jazznights on Sunday 3rd August 2014
An amazing double-header! Last year Christine won a ‘Herald Angel Award’ at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and she was shortlisted for two Parliamentary Jazz Awards, ‘Musician of the Year’ and ‘Album of the Year’. Phil is one of the leading jazz guitarists in Europe and is the leader of Six Strings and the Beat, the Phil Robson Trio and co leader of Partisans.
THE BEST IN BRITISH MODERN JAZZ is at Jazznights, The Cock Inn, 3, Callis Street, Clare, Suffolk, CO10 8PX
Admission £10. Doors open 7.30pm. Music 8.00-10.30pm.
Reserve seating on 01787 237653 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pay on the night.
You can join us at facebook, read reviews of previous performances on more opinions blog or tweet at twitter.com/jazznightsuk
For further information on future gigs which will feature CHRISTINE TOBIN (voc) & PHIL ROBSON (gtr), DAVE O’HIGGINS (sax), SIMON SPILLETT (sax) amongst others go to www.jazz-nights.com