South Coast Jazz Festival Crests The Big Wave

 

Now in its fourth year, the South Coast Jazz Festival got the waves rolling in over its opening weekend on 20/21 January with a brace of big bands and big ideas, before Ian Shaw and Liane Carroll (above) sashayed out Sunday night with languorous 'Latin Flavours' duo and solo sets. Saxophonist Pete Long and the Jazz Repertory Company (below) headlined on Saturday night at Shoreham's elegant post-modern maritime designed Ropetackle Arts Centre with their big band rolling out '100 Years of Jazz in 99 minutes' show that covered the jazz waterfront from Scott Joplin right up to Weather Report, delivered with verve, aplomb and no little humour.

JazzRep--SCJF18

An even bigger band took the stage on Sunday lunchtime in the shape of Terry Pack's Trees (below), a project that, in strictly Viz-style, he refers to as an 'unfeasibly large ensemble'. Numbering close to 30 players, mostly from the upper echelon of top-notch locals, the music came mainly from their recent CD/DVD, Heart of Oak. Rich, ambitious multi-layered arrangements inspired by the landscape, myths and spirit of the Sussex Downlands and coast, the material draws from the dense artiness of Maria Schneider's large ensemble works to the carnival cunning of Loose Tubes and Cloggz, with a rising massed vocal line that touches on the spiritual at times.

Trees--SCJF18

Both south coast locals, but national vocal legends, Ian Shaw and Liane Carroll not only fit like a glove in talent, spirit and humour, but are as toasty as one as well, especially on a wind and rain-lashed night that had the fishing boats in Shoreham's harbour dancing a merry old tune. The audience warmed up in minutes as the dynamic duo laced Brazilian and Cuban threads through their well-turned tapestry of standards, both classic and contemporary. Solo and duo segments showcased their wide-ranging vocal skill and rich repertoire that took in everything from Liane's beautifully melancholic take on the Morecombe and Wise TV theme tune, 'Bring Me Sunshine', and her upbeat treatment of Donald Fagen's 'The Goodbye Look', to Shaw's masterful reworking of Joni Mitchell's 'Big Yellow Taxi' and spine-tingling duo shots at 'You've Got A Friend' and 'Something Stupid', preceded by a beautiful duo treatment of 'That Ole Black Magic', with singer and festival MC/co-promoter, Claire Martin, guesting with Liane in her own inimitable style.

The festival continues until 27 January at the Ropetackle Arts Centre with the following concerts and workshops: An Audience with Gwilym Simcock and Yuri Goloubev (22 Jan); Elliot Galvin Trio at The Walrus in Brighton (23 Jan); Pee Wee Ellis Funk Assembly (24 Jan); Clark Tracey Quintet featuring Alexandra Ridout Bebop and Beyond (25 Jan); Brotherhood of Breath – The Music of Chris McGregor (26 Jan) and Kansas Smitty's Big Four with Joe Stilgoe (27 Jan). Workshops/Events include: Jump 'N' Jazz (10-11am 22-25 Jan); Sax Workshop with Julian Nicholas (2-4pm, 22 Jan); Piano Workshop with Elliott Galvin (2-4pm, 23 Jan); Bass Workshop with Laurence Cottle (2-4pm, 24 Jan); Jazz Photography Meet-Up with Lisa Indigo Burns Wormsley (2-4pm, 25 Jan); Film Screening (2.30-4.30pm, 21 Jan); Jazz for Juniors (11am-3pm, 27 Jan) and BIMM Student Showcase (6.30-7.30pm, each day of the festival).

– Jon Newey

Photos by Lisa Wormsley

For more info visit www.southcoastjazzfestival.com

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