I suppose you could say that this Monday session with Dave Newton was predictable. I can also suppose that it had to be to attract a number of people who knew what they would get and came specifically to see and hear Dave with bassist Clive Morton and drummer Terry Howard. I added in the ‘see’ because this trio is a feast both visually and aurally.
The whole evening was full of jazz of all kinds and to be able to see the musicians interacting with a raised eyebrow, or other small gestures which meant so much, was a joy to behold. Which way do we go, do we change up a key and what do we play next. There were hardly any verbal introductions to tunes. In fact, I think there was only one tune that the rhythm section did not know they were going to play. They picked up seamlessly on everything else and also on the one that was a surprise.
With these three musicians, every outing is a master class in communication. Also it’s a master class in knowing the audience and choosing the right music. We were treated to a very different version of music from My Fair Lady – very different from the mid fifties Andre Previn version that was such a hit. And there was other well known music given the Newton treatment.
How many people would find it easier on cold January evening to sit in front of a roaring telly instead of coming out and facing up to a drive and then having to find a seat in a fairly packed function room? They did come and obviously enjoyed what they heard.
It was an evening of music which was a mix of soulful, introspective and then swinging but above all enjoyable and relaxing. I think it’s the only time I can remember polite audience applause morphing into a rousing ovation and indeed, some cheering in places.
But with all the technicalities, we also enjoyed the melodic excursions and inventiveness which came out of the tune without straying too far away from those original notes. As Mel Torme sang, ‘I Like To Recognise The Tune’ and we did every time.