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Friday night

Phew…Friday at Torfaen Jazz mini-fest went well and the Jiveoholics got us off to a bouncing start at the Open Hearth turning out toe-tapping numbers from the great era’s of swing and jump n jive, Louis Prima, Louis Jordan and all that jazz…. Sing, Sing, Sing, Jump JIve, There Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens. Glen Manby’s smooth quartet commenced proceedings at The Sebastopol Social Club and explored great standards like Joe Henderson’s Recordame, I Hear A Rhapsody and K.C. Blues. Glen’s tone seemd to have fattened and darkened, in a chocolate sort of way, since I last heard him and there is real depth to his sound. Nice.

Dave Lewis’ new band Wishful Drinkin’ cranked it up over at the Hearth slamming out Stormy Monday, Hoochie Coochie Man and more great blues hits, Dan Oliver’s guitar pumping out great lead lines. For me, hearing 18 year-old Jamie Brownfield was the highlight of the night, playing with a maturity way beyond his years and echoing all the masters; Louis, Bix, Roy, Clifford, Miles, Chet etc. He kicked off with All The Things You Are, a classic changes testpiece and it was evident the lad knows his stuff. In possession of a light but full tone, a mate commented he has a striking resemblance to the young Chet Baker and certainly there is evidence of the troubled-genius’ playing in his, producing lines of great clarity and poise. It was a blast to have a blow with Jamie on Quickfix, from his and  Liam Byrne’s albumKeepin’ It Cool’.  Jamie sent me the part (tenor sax) a while ago but whilst having had little time to practice it was a little hairy but I think I got away with it. We also had a ball on Donna Lee and I think Paul Seligman and Mr Brownfield got it on video so that may appear on the intraweb soon. Look out for this young man, I predict a glittering career.

All in all, a satisfying start, all we need now is for people to come out today, Saturday 10th April, afternoon starts at 1.30 with the Jim Barber trio. Come  and enjoy the fabulous jazz on offer, great real ales, and a wonderful atmosphere in this little village where they’ve just completed tearing down the remaing buildings of Panteg Steelworks, which operated for over a hundred years and once a major steel supplier to the world… and will build yet more houses…..ho hum..

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