Edinburgh Jazz Festival 2013: Jerry Forde New Phoenix Jazz Band

Jerry Forde New Phoenix Jazz Band, Palazzo Spiegeltent, Edinburgh, Friday July 26th ***

The talented Martin Foster should take some considerable satisfaction in the fact that his place in the advertised line-up of the Jerry Forde New Phoenix Jazz Band  last night was filled by not one but two saxophonists (baritone and alto).  As one of the A-list front line of this reborn sextet, Foster would have been a draw, alongside trumpeter Colin Steele and clarinetist/soprano saxophonist Dick Lee. But even with two deps in Foster’s place, the band still didn’t premiere The New Century Jazz Rag which had been flagged up in the festival programme.

Nevertheless, they did deliver on the theme of music from across the decades of jazz, and it was a treat to hear Colin Steele – not usually a player one hears in this kind of group – getting his chops around tunes by Jelly Roll Morton, Johnny Dodds and Louis Armstrong. Indeed, Steele revealed an Armstrong influence in his playing which was by turn exuberant, majestic and playful and stood out especially on Symphonic Raps, That’s My Home and Oriental Man. On Thelonious Rag, he played with a Louis-like swagger.

The more loosely arranged numbers, notably Riverside Blues, were most appealing but the evening’s two stand-outs both featured a young singer, Christine Adams, who blew the audience away with her beguiling and quirky interpretations of the Billie Holiday song Endie and My Sweetie Went Away (last heard on these shores crooned by the much-missed Marty Grosz).

* First published in The Scotsman, Saturday July 27th

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1 Comment

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One response to “Edinburgh Jazz Festival 2013: Jerry Forde New Phoenix Jazz Band

  1. Hi Alison, just managed to read your new phoenix review of our Speigeltent gig; thanks for the positive and encouraging comments. Martin had to drop out at very short notice, after all the publicity material was printed – a real nightmare as you can imagine and difficult to recover from! Hope you can see us again soon when we are back at full strength. PS Lauren is in the band as an apprentice, and at 15 may be one of the youngest performers in the jazz festival, and helps the average age of the band… Kind regards, Jerry.

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