Review: Tom Green Septet and the Daryl Ford Trio featuring Sarah Bolter

Summer’s here and sorry, but the ‘day job’ (plus ludicrous government inspections) has kept me from my blog.  Why government inspections?  It’s about time someone asked this question.  By someone I don’t mean the reactionary and xenophobic elements of the British press.  Why are foreign STUDENTS counted as immigrants in the monthly statistics?  (They come to the UK to learn English – then maybe onto a UK university, paying money into UK businesses including language colleges like the one I work for, host families, shops, university fees, and more.)  Why do they have to pay many hundreds of pounds for painfully complex student visas?  Why is this government, like successive UK governments, trying to limit these wonderful young people from coming to study in the UK?  Teaching these amazing people from all over the world the language of Shakespeare has enriched my life, just as much as art and music.
By way of consolation, I managed to catch two weeks’ worth of world class jazz appearing at Swing Unlimited Jazz Club.  Firstly, a couple of weeks ago was the fabulous Tom Green spinning his trombone magic with his troupe: James Davison playing a scorching trumpet and dreamy Flugelhorn (like a summer ice cream soda); Matthew Herd weaving his pristine alto and soprano Saxophones; Sam Miles’s warm and melodic Tenor Saxophone; Liam’s great jazz/boogie-woogie keys; Tom McCredie keeping up the varied rhythm on bass with Scott Chapman cracking on the tempos on drums.  Mostly original, very melodic compositions from Tom Green were mixed up with just one or two tremendous covers.  Who couldn’t love such a young and perfect jazz band paying homage to Hoagy Carmichael, in Tom’s marvellous arrangement of ‘Skylark’ or Johnny Dankworth’s uptempo ‘Seven Not Out’?  As I heard one member of the audience say, though, these jazz greats were almost overshadowed by the Tom Green originals.  Songs like ‘Equilibrium’, a Latin number with a merengue middle section, got the whole room swayin’.  ‘Arctic Sun’ was a mid-tempo number in 7/8.  Kicking back to this lush contemporary jazz, we could have been forgiven for thinking we were in Pizza Express, Dean Street.  These young players are at the top of their learning curve and play with verve and energy, like every note is new.  Off to the Marlborough Jazz Festival before embarking on something of an international tour, watch this space!  By the way, must give the last word on Tom Green and his Septet to Cleo Laine, “This is some of the most exciting original new music I have heard for a long time.  Tom’s writing has complexity, depth and intensity but above all a strong melodic thread… played with fantastic energy and a true band sound.”
SUJC's favourite piano trio The DARYL FORD TRIO are joined by special guest SARAH BOLTER (Not Just Sax) performing an homage to the great music of legends DAVE BRUBECK & PAUL DESMOND... Absolutely not to be missed at any cost! (Talking of which, it's still only £6 entry!)... See you all there for another special night of amazing jazz at Swing Unlimited Jazz Club @ Centre Stage, Queen's Road Bournemouth, enquiries Catherine on 07771 267445
The second treat was a sultry night of classic Dave Brubeck tunes, woven skilfully together by the legendary Daryl Ford, leading his quartet on Piano, with the magnificent Sarah Bolter on alto saxophone,  Simon Collins spellbinding on double bass and complicated tempos impeccably kept by Sam Bachell – sharing his virtuousity on drums.  It was the perfect night for it.  Warm summer evening, the dusk bruising, turning Swing Unlimited Jazz Club into the quintessential intimate jazz dive.  Pete Alcock’s sound and light is skilful.  Those pretty stage lights and the unobtrusively mixed sound, lets the band weave its mid-summer magic without hesitation.  And Daryl Ford is jazz magic.  He plays these Brubeck (amongst other) tunes like a maestro, taking his band and the audience with him on a relaxed homage of classic jazz.  Fascinating and complicated rhythms abounded, from ‘Time Out’ album numbers like samba ‘Cantega Nova Swing’ to ‘Up the Square Dance’ to Brubeck’s ‘Nostalgia to Mexico’ album and ‘Frenesi’.  Sarah Bolter plays her saxophone so perfectly that she’ll fit in with any tune, any tempo and always sound superb.  We had some ‘Time in Outer Space’ (album) tunes like ‘Fast Life’ with an intriguing middle section to keep the audience, and Daryl’s players, on their toes.
With the second set, the whole room was just totally swingin’ and dreamin’ to these nice ‘n’ easy rhythms.  Not so easy to play, I’d guess, in various times, but Daryl Ford and his band made it all seem effortless.  That’s not to say without building up a sweat.  What is 11/4 and 5/4 anyway?  I loved these tunes like ‘Tangerine’ and of course ‘Take 5′.  This was amongst the finest played and most magical classic jazz I’ve heard.  Enough to take the audience on a hot mid-summer night’s jazz odyssey.
Tom is a trombonist, composer and arranger who has directed his own groups and big bands on national and international tours, and has performed at venues including Ronnie Scott's, the Vortex Jazz Club and 606 Club, as well as the Montreux, Toronto and Montreal Jazz Festivals. Winner of the 2013 Dankworth Prize for Jazz Composition, he is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he studied under Mark Bassey, Gordon Campbell and Mark Nightingale. He has performed alongside musicians including Iain Ballamy, Gareth Lockrane, and Mike Gibbs.<br />
The Tom Green Septet weaves together influences as diverse as Brazilian Choro to New Orleans second line, to form tunes with striking melodies, colourful harmony and propulsive grooves. The group was formed in November 2012 and has since spent time refining its material through live performances at venues including the Forge and Wigmore Hall to<br />
 create a cohesive and unique group voice. Bringing together some of the most talented young musicians in the London jazz scene, the group creates a distinct sound world using the full range of textures available in the seven-piece ensemble, and has been slowly gaining a strong following and fine reviews since its inception.<br />
The group has performances scheduled at festivals both in the UK and internationally, and are preparing for a 7-date UK tour in November/December 2013 before recording their first album for release in 2014.<br />
Tom Green - Trombone/Compositions James Davison – Trumpet/Flugelhorn Matthew Herd - Alto/Soprano Saxophones Sam Miles - Tenor Saxophone<br />
Sam Watts – Piano<br />
Tom McCredie – Bass Scott Chapman – Drums<br />
“Remarkable... only the very best arrangers can get a<br />
sound like that from four horns”<br />
Evan Parker, June 2013<br />
“Interwoven contrapuntal writing of real intricacy... “<br />
Sebastian Scotney,<br />
 London Jazz News, Feb 2013<br />
“I’ve been involved in jazz for more than 60 years and this is some of the most exciting original new<br />
music I have heard for a long time. Tom’s writing has complexity, depth and intensity but above all a<br />
strong melodic thread... played with fantastic energy and a true band sound”<br />
Dame Cleo Laine, June 2013

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