Saturday 18th September 2017
The Globe | Jazz.Coop

This was a near-perfect Jazz Coop gig. How could it not be with the UK’s number one big band trumpet ace playing with what many would claim to be the UK’s number one big band?

SSBB hit the deck running with Gerry Mulligan’s Red Door. Jamie Toms indicating in his fiery solo that he was well and truly up for it.

Old Man River introduced guest trumpet player Adams who made the most dynamic entry of any trumpet player I’ve ever heard. He came on like a tidal surge starting round about top C and just getting higher and higher – phew! If the evening had ended then I’d have gone home happy.

But, this was just the beginning!

Adams’ frequent sidekick, Alan Barnes, supplied the next number – Side Steppin’ – great tune and another great solo. I Can’t Believe You’re In-Laws With me – a quirky title for a feature that had the two tenors Kerridge and Toms slugging it out no holds barred.

Time for a vocal or three by F’reez who obliged with Higher Ground, Sunny and my favourite jazz waltz (apart from BluesetteThe Mood I’m in. The band slotted in the Film Noir 1 piece that they do so well. David Barnes’ trombone helping to bring those mean streets to life – come to think of it I walked down a few getting here…

Graham Don impressed on Pianitis.

Bruce came back for a quasi Dixie arrangement of Darktown Strutters Ball. Shades of the old Billy May album, Sorta Dixie. Keith Robinson blowing clarinet.

The set came to a close with an arrangement by Marvin Stamm of Secret Love, our star switching to flugel for this one

Time to replenish our glasses.

What’s this? Ran out of real ale! The busiest jazz night of the year so far and not enough ale. As I said earlier, a near-perfect gig…

However, suitably sedated with a bottle of Wylam Brewery’s Bohemia, beverages became a back number as the Big Band bounced back with Benny Golson’s Whisper Not. Toms, Kerridge, Lamb, Pawel, Summers and one of the ‘bones led the charge to the line.

Pronk had Pawel pronking whilst Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea saw the saxes play a perfectly balanced chorus that drew the applause – as did David Barnes’ trombone solo.

Minor’s Holiday featured Bruce, Kerridge and some fine drumming from Tom Chapman – first time I’ve heard him with the band.

You Can’t Go Home Again, a Don Sebesky number recorded by Chet Baker and Paul Desmond, had Bruce switching from flugel to trumpet and back again. I Love You, a straight ahead swinger.

F’reez returned for Gambling Man Blues and On a Clear Day.

Bruce played Ozone Friendly then One Note at a Time.

This latter number was a real blast featuring Adams, Tanton and Lamb so no pressure on our lads! They acquitted themselves well, not trying to beat Bruce at his own game but capitalising on their own strengths.

The finale/encore, Sorta Ragtime dates back to a later version of Kenny Baker’s Dozen of which Adams was a part. Imagine that, Bruce and Kenny in the same band!

David Barnes, Kerridge, Toms, Summers, Robinson and Don all soloing as of course was Man of the Match, Bruce Adams.

Nice gig, shame about the beer! – Lance Liddle, Be Bop Spoken Here