Monday, 6 May 2013

City Of Derry Jazz And Big Band Festival Diary, Part Four

Our fourth and final jazzy day in Derry-Londonderry features two touches of class: one soulful, one cinematic (more on that elsewhere...)

As was the case in last year's festival, the spine-tingling sax solos of Gay McIntyre - the best sax player in the city bar none, on this evidence - are the ideal tonic for both bodies and souls, some tired, some not-so-tired, on a pleasant afternoon in the Playhouse Theatre. Listening to this man, along with his son Paul on the piano, Paul Fleming on bass, Myles Drennan on drums (and later piano) and, in McIntyre's opinion, "one of the best guitar players in the world", Mr. Louis Stewart, is akin to tasting and enjoying a rich Sunday dinner with no bad after effects. Indeed, the only after effects one feels from this set list - highlighted by McIntyre Jr's efficient piano-playing (second only to Neil Cowley's as the best of the weekend), Drennan's drumming, and guest star Richie Buckley's high tempo tenor sax (which either overshadows or compliments McIntyre Sr, depending on your point of view) - are positive. The applause McIntyre Sr receives throughout the set, which allows every musician in the ensemble to enjoy their moment in the spotlight, is as worthy an 80th birthday present for him as his music is a gift to us.

But the real gift to the City Of Derry Jazz And Big Band Festival is yet to come...

* * * * *
At this point in time, we would like to take a quick breather and announce the following - the Si's Sights And Sounds City Of Derry Jazz And Big Band Festival Awards 2013!

Best Pianist: Neil Cowley
(Honourable mentions: Jason Rebello, Paul McIntyre)
Best Guitarist: Louis Stewart
Best Saxophonist: Gay McIntyre
(Honourable mentions: Richie Buckley, Erion Williams)
Best Bass Player: Rex Horan
(Honourable mentions: Damian Evans, Dave Fleming)
Best Trumpeteer: Linley Hamilton
(Honourable mentions: Julian Gosin, Marcus Hubbard)
Best Drummer: David Lyttle
(Honourable mentions: Rebecca Montgomery, Myles Drennan, Evan Jenkins, Dominic Mullan)
Best Leading Lady: China Forbes
(Honourable mentions: Rebecca Grant, Fiona Trotter)

Best All Round Ensemble: Pink Martini
(Honourable mentions: Neil Cowley Trio, The Soul Rebels, The Ska Beats and The Jive Aces)

Feel free to comment if you agree or disagree, of course.