There was a question from someone in the bar area of the Portobello on Friday that the trio that we had must play together all the time, because they were so good. This observation came from someone who was not a jazzer in the strictest sense, but liked the sound and could appreciate the music. I explained that it wasn’t necessarily the case in this instance. Bass player Clive Morton was a fairly regular player with Dave Newton, but Nick Millward was drafted in at the last minute to cover for Terry Howard who was not able to make it due to illness. Such was the musical empathy between these musicians that you were not able to tell that they come together to play that evening and it sounded as if they are always together. The list of tunes for the evening was put together in the bar, before the performance started. And the three musicians were across every crochet and quaver.
So, summing it up, what can you say about three musicians who entertain and delight? We are in a smallish pub and here we have a class of musician who would excel themselves on any concert platform and of course do so from time to time.
Not only do they delight audiences, they have fun themselves. We heard some tunes from Broadway shows that we’ve never heard played like it before. But then that’s the whole concept of jazz. There is a proviso. Mel Torme once sang it, you could recognise the tune. And you could. There was a version of Lullaby of the Leaves where all three were having a great deal of fun with looks and hand signals to match.
Dave Newton always has that knack of being really inventive without coming across as over smart and clever. The music just flowed and judging by some of the comments during, and at the end of the evening, most of that audience would have sat down for a second helping then and there. In fact I know there are many who are waiting on his next visit, which will be next month, April 7th, with Alan Barnes.