On Sunday evening Stratford Jazz at No.1, Shakespeare Street decided to start the New Year with a good old fashioned jam session and could not have chosen a better line-up for the occasion. Fronted by Alan Barnes on saxophones and clarinet with Bryan Corbett on trumpet and supported by Tom Hill on bass, Paul Sawtell on piano and Neil Bullock on drums this stellar quintet delighted the full capacity audience.
This is a quintet that rarely plays together but the superb technique of each member enables them to combine so comfortably with each other. There is nothing complicated about their music, just excellent straight-ahead, mainstream jazz played with an infectious enthusiasm, and a varied repertoire ranging from ballad standards to works from Monk, Ellington and Gigi Gryce.
Alan Barnes is the perfect leader, his dry sense of humour during the introductions quickly endears him to his audience and his ensemble/solo work on baritone/alto saxes and clarinet was of the highest class.
Solos from all members of the band were in abundance, Bryan Corbett and Paul Sawtell again showing such expertise that warrants much wider recognition and Tom Hill and Neil Bullock, not satisfied with just providing the beat, but contributing with some witty and exciting solo work. It is always a delight to see a band so clearly in tune with the needs of their audience resulting in a thoroughly enjoyable evening for both musicians and punters alike.
02 Jan 2011 ** NEW YEAR SPECIAL **
Alan Barnes/Bryan Corbett
with Tom Hill Trio
Alan Barnes (s) Bryan Corbett (t)
Tom Hill (b) Paul Sawtell (p) Neil Bullock (d)