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Newcastle Jazz Festival 2022

I said it began with a BANG and I wasn't just referring to the power of the brass on Buddy's Big Swing Face! I was bemused as I tried to remember a jazz gig where they were turning people away and where, even those who stayed had to stand on the stairs and listen!

Tonight the band was kicking ass. Just about everyone soloed and, if they didn't, they certainly excelled in what used to be called in the brass band world as 'bumping up'. I'm not going to award points - how could I with these guys? Nevertheless, if backed into a corner (musicwise), I'd have to give my ten stars to Chris (Kurgi-Smith) and Keiran for their blast on one of the Mingus numbers - Jimmy Knepper in stereo!

As always, Ms Grace was a credit to the human race with scintillating versions of Avalon - I first heard it on record by Al Jolson, Alice edged it by a country mile. Hard Hearted Hannah and 'Deed I Do got score draws against Ella and Peggy whilst You Turned the Tables on me was as close to perfect as you're gonna get in a room like this.

This is going to be one helluva festival.


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