Dave Newton, a regular at Severn jazz and by now, a favourite with audiences. What is there not to like? First class piano by a master of improvisation and any other keyboard skills you might like to mention. On this July performance, those members of the audience who arrived early were treated to an impromptu rehearsal with Clive Morton who had returned for this month’s session. If you were there in June, Clive was the bassist then – it was his group! This time, Terry Howard was the drummer and both of them were complementing the Newton piano at a very high musical standard. They play as one, which after all is the object of the exercise.
Dave is not a lover of explaining what he will be playing. Is it because he prefers playing to talking? The links in between tunes are minimal, but it then becomes a guessing game. What title will he start with which then turns into something else? It might be a guessing game but the audience seemed to have a great deal of enjoyment doing just that.
We were treated to all sorts of different versions of well known songs. Watch What Happens came with a latin flavour while in amongst the Nightingales in Berkeley Square and the Small Hotels, there was an original, a very original version of Sonny Rollins’s seminal piece St Thomas.
Another joyful moment was when Dave announced that he would be blending two of his favourite songs, Alfie and Emily. It was a case of spotting the join, but in reality why would you need to. Just sit back and enjoy the music from the masters of jazz improvisation. Bliss.
It was a truly enjoyable, musically fulfilling evening. But would you expect anything less?