Aug 19 – Roy Sainsbury Trio Feat. Alex Clarke

New to Severn Jazz was young saxophone and flute player Alex Clarke. She came as one third of Roy Sainsbury’s trio, Roy playing guitar and Ben Markland on upright bass. Both Roy and Ben had played before as members of separate line-ups, but as Roy pointed out, he’d been trying to include Ben for many years, but Ben had always been so busy. It was interesting to see how Alex fitted in with a couple of older musicians. After all, she was the front line of the band and a great deal of responsibility landed on her shoulders in that role. Roy led proceedings and linked everything together as Roy does. He does the same with his six piece band. This time though it was just a trio and there’s a different dynamic, both musically and in terms of fun to be had. In the band there was a degree of humour that came from the members. This trio though, was very well-behaved! No comments, no jokes, just music. And the musical fare was well known to all and all the tunes, I think without exception were written and were well known in the last century. That was well before Alex was even born and to be fair I would guess also before Ben. But, she gave the impression that she’d grown up with this music and really became a part of the songs she was playing. She moved between alto and tenor as required and I think that she is the first artist to play a flute at Severn Jazz and she did so on a Antonio Carlos Jobim tune. But sadly it was only on one number – I would like to have heard more. Roy was his usual self, playing some beautiful guitar and linking the tunes in his own inimitable way while Ben, who replaced Tom Hill who was billed to appear, certainly made his mark – plenty of ensemble duties and a few solos and although he had played at Severn Jazz before, it was some years ago. The musical fare included titles such as Darn That Dream, Java, Walking Shoes, Tea For Two, Sonny Rollins’s Saint Thomas and another Rollins tune, Oleo. Altogether an excellent evening which I know was enjoyed by many audience members.