The Jazz Mann | Alan Barnes / Remi Harris / Tom Moore - Alan Barnes/ Remi Harris/Tom Moore, Yardbird Arts, Victory Hall, Clows Top, Worcestershire 16/10/18. | Review | The Jazz Mann

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Alan Barnes / Remi Harris / Tom Moore - Alan Barnes/ Remi Harris/Tom Moore, Yardbird Arts, Victory Hall, Clows Top, Worcestershire 16/10/18. Rating: 3-5 out of 5 A good natured, often humorous, performance wittily presented by Barnes. The playing tonight was uniformly excellent.

Alan Barnes / Remi Harris / Tom Moore
Yardbird Arts, Clows Top Victory Hall, Clows Top, Worcestershire, 16/10/2018.

Tonight was the second performance in the Autumn season of jazz events curated by promoter, agent and publicist Dani Harris, wife of guitarist Remi Harris.

Trading under the name Yardbird Arts Dani has previously hosted a series of successful live performances at The Hatch in nearby Lindridge. The history of The Hatch venue, home of the Yardbird Arts Club, is detailed below, extracted from a previous review written in 2017;

There has been a history of live musical performances at The Hatch, the home of the Salmon family.  Ben Salmon, once the rhythm guitarist with Remi Harris’ trio, established a recording studio here and the venue hosted regular live events between (approx) 2010 and 2013. The performers came from a wide variety of musical genres including jazz, folk and world music, with much of the programming being undertaken by local singer, guitarist and songwriter Deborah Rose. 

When Ben Salmon relocated to Mid Wales performances at The Hatch, still the Salmon family home, ceased but have now been revived by Remi and Dani who live in one of the outbuildings at The Hatch complex. Together they have imaginatively transformed the former studio ‘live room’ into an intimate performance space with a capacity of just 40, creatively decorated with music memorabilia to create a genuine ‘jazz club’ ambience. 

During 2017 I reviewed enjoyable performances at The Hatch by multi-reeds player John Hallam, folk singer Hattie Briggs, clarinettist Giacomo Smith and Bristol based collective Dakhla Brass.

Dani and Remi have established a loyal fan base for events at The Hatch and performances there are invariably sell outs. With this in mind they have decided to take the majority of the current Autumn series events ‘on the road,’ with shows at various larger rural locations in Worcestershire and neighbouring Herefordshire.

Tonight’s performance was at the Victory Hall in the nearby village of Clows Top, a venue that Yardbird Arts has used on previous occasions. Originally opened in the 1950s Victory Hall is now a clean, modern, recently refurbished village hall with excellent facilities. Its close proximity to The Hatch ensured that most of Yardbird Arts’ regular followers were in attendance, alongside many more in an audience that numbered in excess of eighty, more than double the capacity of The Hatch.

The large crowd was certainly a vindication of the decision to transfer to a larger venue and was also a reflection of the popularity of both Remi Harris and this evening’s guest musician, Manchester born multi-reeds player Alan Barnes.

Barnes is one of the most popular figures on the mainstream jazz circuit, admired by jazz listeners for his command of all the members of the saxophone family, plus clarinet. Audiences also love Barnes’ on stage repartee, his dry, witty, sometimes salty one liners revealing an obvious joy of wordplay as he comes over like a Northern version of Ronnie Scott. It’s an ability that has earned him a job as the regular compère of Scarborough Jazz Festival.

Now a comparative veteran of the British jazz circuit the hard working Barnes (born 1959) gigs widely and regularly, frequently visiting rural locations. He’s a musician with something of a cult following and was a favourite of many at the now defunct Titley Jazz Festival, the unlikely but surprisingly successor to Appleby, that took place in Herefordshire for five years between 2010 and 2014 inclusive.

Barnes has recorded prolifically and runs his own Woodville record label. He’s a highly versatile musician and an accomplished composer but is usually heard in broadly mainstream to bebop contexts. Barnes guested on Remi Harris’ 2014 album “Ninick” and the friendship between the elder statesman and the rising star has continued to develop with Barnes having made a previous live appearance at The Hatch.

Remi Harris performs at the majority of the Yardbird Arts presentations and he and Barnes were joined in a trio by double bassist Tom Moore, a frequent Harris collaborator and a graduate of the Jazz Course at Birmingham Conservatoire.

With Barnes moving between alto and baritone saxophones, plus clarinet, the trio delivered two good natured sets of standards based material which resulted in some excellent playing all round. Barnes commenced on alto as the trio kicked off with “Honeysuckle Rose”. Harris is best known as a ‘gypsy jazz’ guitarist and he and Moore introduced the piece in this style before Barnes’ alto solo steered the music in a more obvious bebop direction. The Hot Club stylings returned with Harris’ own solo as Barnes moved over to clarinet.

Harris and Moore combined to give the music considerable rhythmic drive as the trio tackled the bluesy “Topsy”, written by Edgar Battle and Eddie Durham and recorded by artists such as Count Basie and Benny Goodman. Barnes changed to baritone sax for this, combining an extraordinary agility on the larger instrument with some authentically deep sonorities. There were also impressive solos from Harris and Moore.

“Seven Come Eleven” was written by guitarist Charlie Christian for the Benny Goodman band, with the notoriously mean Goodman pocketing the majority of the royalty monies, this information coming from Barnes,  who introduced the piece as a “riff based tune”. This being a Goodman piece Barnes naturally switched to clarinet as he shared the solos with Harris and Moore. In this drummer-less trio format, and with Harris also performing a strong rhythmic function, there was plenty of solo space afforded to the bassist, more so than in Harris’ regular trio, and Moore took full advantage of this with a series of inventive and highly dexterous solos that demonstrated just how accomplished a bassist he has become.

Despite Harris moving from acoustic to electric guitar “Body And Soul” proved to be a highly effective ballad with Barnes demonstrating a remarkable level of expressiveness on baritone saxophone, his solo accompanied by Harris’ smooth toned guitar and Moore’s languid double bass.

This item was particularly well received as was Sonny Rollins’ “Tenor Madness” which actually saw Barnes tearing it up on alto, supported by Moore’s rapid bass walk and Harris’ energetic guitar comping. Subsequent solos came from Harris and Moore, the latter in a lively series of exchanges with Barnes’ alto. Indeed the saxophonist and the young bassist seemed to enjoy a good rapport throughout.

It was Harris who suggested the subtle bossa nova treatment of Jerome Kern’s enduring standard “All The Things You Are” with Barnes alluding to the song’s “harmonic interest”. Barnes took the first solo on alto, followed by Harris on guitar. The reedman then switched to clarinet, his tone soft, breathy, and almost flute like at times in a closing series of exchanges with Moore and Harris.

An absorbing first set concluded with “Move”, written by drummer Denzil Best and a piece with a riff based theme resembling a drum pattern. This proved to be an excellent vehicle for the trio to improvise around with fluent solos coming from Harris on acoustic guitar, Barnes on alto and Moore on double bass.

Following the half time raffle things resumed with Barnes probing deeply on bebop style alto on “Pennies From Heaven”. Harris, on acoustic guitar, and Moore on bass followed suit before a diversion into “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love”. Harris and Barnes then returned to “Pennies…”, each putting in their tuppence worth with a playful series of closing exchanges.

No Remi Harris performance would be complete without a dip into the Django Reinhardt repertoire. Django himself often worked with clarinet players, particularly in the later years of his career, so this was the instrument Barnes took up for a lively version of “Minor Swing”, as he shared the solos with Harris and Moore.

“Air Mail Special” was another of those Charlie Christian tunes that was hi-jacked by Benny Goodman and again featured Barnes on clarinet, his mercurial solo arguably his best of the night, as he shared the limelight with Harris and Moore.

A dialogue between Harris and Moore introduced “I’ll See You In My Dreams”, this developing into a virtuoso Reinhardt style solo from Harris, the guitarist followed by Barnes on baritone sax and Moore on double bass.

Harris went electric again for the ballad “My One And Only Love” - “it’s the romantic guitar” quipped Barnes. The saxophonist moved to alto as he and Harris shared the solos, the guitarist subtly edging the tune away from the ballad format.

Barnes returned to the Goodman repertoire for “Stompin’ At The Savoy”, a tune written by the Goodman band’s baritone saxophonist Edgar Sampson. Barnes himself tackled the piece on alto, sandwiching a quote from Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes” into his solo. Not to be outdone Harris replied with the somewhat incongruous “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer”!  A bit early for that Remi, it’s still only October! Moore, perhaps wisely, delivered his solo straight.

Cue the predictable sheep jokes as Barnes introduced the closing “There Will Never Be Another You” with Barnes on baritone now quoting from “Mona Lisa”. Harris had switched to electric guitar for his final solo with Moore rounding things off before the concluding theme statement.

This had been a good natured, often humorous, performance wittily presented by Barnes. Indeed Harris nearly choked laughing at one of Barnes’ asides, but largely the reeds man kept the banter sharp, pertinent and pithy – at Titley he could sometimes overdo the humour at the expense of the music.

The playing tonight was uniformly excellent despite the informality of the performance. Barnes exhibited a remarkable fluency and facility on his three chosen horns, Harris’ virtuosity was already familiar to his local supporters and Moore simply excelled, relishing the extra space that he was afforded. I’d known what to expect from Barnes and Harris, but Moore was a revelation,  the quality of his contributions helping to keep the rather familiar head-solos-head format sounding comparatively fresh.

The audience responded enthusiastically, delighted to see musicianship of this quality in rural Worcestershire. Hopefully they will return in numbers for the other events in the Yardbird Arts Autumn Series as listed below;

Friday, 30 November
John Etheridge @ Clows Top Victory Hall, Worcestershire
When
Friday, 30 Nov 2018
Description
John Etheridge - Solo Guitar - https://www.john-etheridge.com/
with solo support set from Remi Harris - Guitar - http://www.remiharris.com
7pm Doors - 7.30pm Start 
Bar and Refreshments (local ale and cider)
Tickets £12 available from Dani on…
01584 881 564
07814 986 868
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
http://www.yardbirdarts.com
How to find Clows Top Victory Hall
Clows Top Victory Hall, 
Tenbury Road, 
Clows Top, 
DY14 9HP
http://www.clowstopvictoryhall.btck.co.uk
Map - https://goo.gl/KtwgWn


Saturday, 1 December
John Etheridge @ Fownhope New Memorial Hall, Herefordshire
When
Saturday, 1 Dec 2018
Description
John Etheridge - Solo Guitar - http://www.john-etheridge.com
With solo support set from Remi Harris - Guitar - http://www.remiharris.com
7pm Doors - 7.30pm Start 
Bar and Refreshments (local ale and cider)
Tickets £12 available from Dani on…
01584 881 564
07814 986 868
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
http://www.yardbirdarts.com
How to find Fownhope New Memorial Hall…
Fownhope New Memorial Hall
Hereford 
HR1 4PE


Tuesday, 18 December
Amy Roberts @ Clows Top Victory Hall, Worcestershire
When
Tuesday, 18 Dec 2018
Description
Swing Jazz with…
Amy Roberts - Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet - http://www.amyrobertsjazz.co.uk
Remi Harris - Guitar - http://www.remiharris.com
Tom Moore - Double Bass
7pm Doors - 7.30pm Start 
Bar and Refreshments (local ale and cider)
Tickets £12 available from Dani on…
01584 881 564
07814 986 868
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
http://www.yardbirdarts.com
How to find Clows Top Victory Hall
Clows Top Victory Hall, 
Tenbury Road, 
Clows Top, 
DY14 9HP
http://www.clowstopvictoryhall.btck.co.uk
Map - https://goo.gl/KtwgWn

Alan Barnes/ Remi Harris/Tom Moore, Yardbird Arts, Victory Hall, Clows Top, Worcestershire 16/10/18.

Alan Barnes / Remi Harris / Tom Moore

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Reviewed by: Ian Mann

Live Review

3-5 out of 5

Alan Barnes/ Remi Harris/Tom Moore, Yardbird Arts, Victory Hall, Clows Top, Worcestershire 16/10/18.

A good natured, often humorous, performance wittily presented by Barnes. The playing tonight was uniformly excellent.

Alan Barnes / Remi Harris / Tom Moore
Yardbird Arts, Clows Top Victory Hall, Clows Top, Worcestershire, 16/10/2018.

Tonight was the second performance in the Autumn season of jazz events curated by promoter, agent and publicist Dani Harris, wife of guitarist Remi Harris.

Trading under the name Yardbird Arts Dani has previously hosted a series of successful live performances at The Hatch in nearby Lindridge. The history of The Hatch venue, home of the Yardbird Arts Club, is detailed below, extracted from a previous review written in 2017;

There has been a history of live musical performances at The Hatch, the home of the Salmon family.  Ben Salmon, once the rhythm guitarist with Remi Harris’ trio, established a recording studio here and the venue hosted regular live events between (approx) 2010 and 2013. The performers came from a wide variety of musical genres including jazz, folk and world music, with much of the programming being undertaken by local singer, guitarist and songwriter Deborah Rose. 

When Ben Salmon relocated to Mid Wales performances at The Hatch, still the Salmon family home, ceased but have now been revived by Remi and Dani who live in one of the outbuildings at The Hatch complex. Together they have imaginatively transformed the former studio ‘live room’ into an intimate performance space with a capacity of just 40, creatively decorated with music memorabilia to create a genuine ‘jazz club’ ambience. 

During 2017 I reviewed enjoyable performances at The Hatch by multi-reeds player John Hallam, folk singer Hattie Briggs, clarinettist Giacomo Smith and Bristol based collective Dakhla Brass.

Dani and Remi have established a loyal fan base for events at The Hatch and performances there are invariably sell outs. With this in mind they have decided to take the majority of the current Autumn series events ‘on the road,’ with shows at various larger rural locations in Worcestershire and neighbouring Herefordshire.

Tonight’s performance was at the Victory Hall in the nearby village of Clows Top, a venue that Yardbird Arts has used on previous occasions. Originally opened in the 1950s Victory Hall is now a clean, modern, recently refurbished village hall with excellent facilities. Its close proximity to The Hatch ensured that most of Yardbird Arts’ regular followers were in attendance, alongside many more in an audience that numbered in excess of eighty, more than double the capacity of The Hatch.

The large crowd was certainly a vindication of the decision to transfer to a larger venue and was also a reflection of the popularity of both Remi Harris and this evening’s guest musician, Manchester born multi-reeds player Alan Barnes.

Barnes is one of the most popular figures on the mainstream jazz circuit, admired by jazz listeners for his command of all the members of the saxophone family, plus clarinet. Audiences also love Barnes’ on stage repartee, his dry, witty, sometimes salty one liners revealing an obvious joy of wordplay as he comes over like a Northern version of Ronnie Scott. It’s an ability that has earned him a job as the regular compère of Scarborough Jazz Festival.

Now a comparative veteran of the British jazz circuit the hard working Barnes (born 1959) gigs widely and regularly, frequently visiting rural locations. He’s a musician with something of a cult following and was a favourite of many at the now defunct Titley Jazz Festival, the unlikely but surprisingly successor to Appleby, that took place in Herefordshire for five years between 2010 and 2014 inclusive.

Barnes has recorded prolifically and runs his own Woodville record label. He’s a highly versatile musician and an accomplished composer but is usually heard in broadly mainstream to bebop contexts. Barnes guested on Remi Harris’ 2014 album “Ninick” and the friendship between the elder statesman and the rising star has continued to develop with Barnes having made a previous live appearance at The Hatch.

Remi Harris performs at the majority of the Yardbird Arts presentations and he and Barnes were joined in a trio by double bassist Tom Moore, a frequent Harris collaborator and a graduate of the Jazz Course at Birmingham Conservatoire.

With Barnes moving between alto and baritone saxophones, plus clarinet, the trio delivered two good natured sets of standards based material which resulted in some excellent playing all round. Barnes commenced on alto as the trio kicked off with “Honeysuckle Rose”. Harris is best known as a ‘gypsy jazz’ guitarist and he and Moore introduced the piece in this style before Barnes’ alto solo steered the music in a more obvious bebop direction. The Hot Club stylings returned with Harris’ own solo as Barnes moved over to clarinet.

Harris and Moore combined to give the music considerable rhythmic drive as the trio tackled the bluesy “Topsy”, written by Edgar Battle and Eddie Durham and recorded by artists such as Count Basie and Benny Goodman. Barnes changed to baritone sax for this, combining an extraordinary agility on the larger instrument with some authentically deep sonorities. There were also impressive solos from Harris and Moore.

“Seven Come Eleven” was written by guitarist Charlie Christian for the Benny Goodman band, with the notoriously mean Goodman pocketing the majority of the royalty monies, this information coming from Barnes,  who introduced the piece as a “riff based tune”. This being a Goodman piece Barnes naturally switched to clarinet as he shared the solos with Harris and Moore. In this drummer-less trio format, and with Harris also performing a strong rhythmic function, there was plenty of solo space afforded to the bassist, more so than in Harris’ regular trio, and Moore took full advantage of this with a series of inventive and highly dexterous solos that demonstrated just how accomplished a bassist he has become.

Despite Harris moving from acoustic to electric guitar “Body And Soul” proved to be a highly effective ballad with Barnes demonstrating a remarkable level of expressiveness on baritone saxophone, his solo accompanied by Harris’ smooth toned guitar and Moore’s languid double bass.

This item was particularly well received as was Sonny Rollins’ “Tenor Madness” which actually saw Barnes tearing it up on alto, supported by Moore’s rapid bass walk and Harris’ energetic guitar comping. Subsequent solos came from Harris and Moore, the latter in a lively series of exchanges with Barnes’ alto. Indeed the saxophonist and the young bassist seemed to enjoy a good rapport throughout.

It was Harris who suggested the subtle bossa nova treatment of Jerome Kern’s enduring standard “All The Things You Are” with Barnes alluding to the song’s “harmonic interest”. Barnes took the first solo on alto, followed by Harris on guitar. The reedman then switched to clarinet, his tone soft, breathy, and almost flute like at times in a closing series of exchanges with Moore and Harris.

An absorbing first set concluded with “Move”, written by drummer Denzil Best and a piece with a riff based theme resembling a drum pattern. This proved to be an excellent vehicle for the trio to improvise around with fluent solos coming from Harris on acoustic guitar, Barnes on alto and Moore on double bass.

Following the half time raffle things resumed with Barnes probing deeply on bebop style alto on “Pennies From Heaven”. Harris, on acoustic guitar, and Moore on bass followed suit before a diversion into “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love”. Harris and Barnes then returned to “Pennies…”, each putting in their tuppence worth with a playful series of closing exchanges.

No Remi Harris performance would be complete without a dip into the Django Reinhardt repertoire. Django himself often worked with clarinet players, particularly in the later years of his career, so this was the instrument Barnes took up for a lively version of “Minor Swing”, as he shared the solos with Harris and Moore.

“Air Mail Special” was another of those Charlie Christian tunes that was hi-jacked by Benny Goodman and again featured Barnes on clarinet, his mercurial solo arguably his best of the night, as he shared the limelight with Harris and Moore.

A dialogue between Harris and Moore introduced “I’ll See You In My Dreams”, this developing into a virtuoso Reinhardt style solo from Harris, the guitarist followed by Barnes on baritone sax and Moore on double bass.

Harris went electric again for the ballad “My One And Only Love” - “it’s the romantic guitar” quipped Barnes. The saxophonist moved to alto as he and Harris shared the solos, the guitarist subtly edging the tune away from the ballad format.

Barnes returned to the Goodman repertoire for “Stompin’ At The Savoy”, a tune written by the Goodman band’s baritone saxophonist Edgar Sampson. Barnes himself tackled the piece on alto, sandwiching a quote from Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes” into his solo. Not to be outdone Harris replied with the somewhat incongruous “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer”!  A bit early for that Remi, it’s still only October! Moore, perhaps wisely, delivered his solo straight.

Cue the predictable sheep jokes as Barnes introduced the closing “There Will Never Be Another You” with Barnes on baritone now quoting from “Mona Lisa”. Harris had switched to electric guitar for his final solo with Moore rounding things off before the concluding theme statement.

This had been a good natured, often humorous, performance wittily presented by Barnes. Indeed Harris nearly choked laughing at one of Barnes’ asides, but largely the reeds man kept the banter sharp, pertinent and pithy – at Titley he could sometimes overdo the humour at the expense of the music.

The playing tonight was uniformly excellent despite the informality of the performance. Barnes exhibited a remarkable fluency and facility on his three chosen horns, Harris’ virtuosity was already familiar to his local supporters and Moore simply excelled, relishing the extra space that he was afforded. I’d known what to expect from Barnes and Harris, but Moore was a revelation,  the quality of his contributions helping to keep the rather familiar head-solos-head format sounding comparatively fresh.

The audience responded enthusiastically, delighted to see musicianship of this quality in rural Worcestershire. Hopefully they will return in numbers for the other events in the Yardbird Arts Autumn Series as listed below;

Friday, 30 November
John Etheridge @ Clows Top Victory Hall, Worcestershire
When
Friday, 30 Nov 2018
Description
John Etheridge - Solo Guitar - https://www.john-etheridge.com/
with solo support set from Remi Harris - Guitar - http://www.remiharris.com
7pm Doors - 7.30pm Start 
Bar and Refreshments (local ale and cider)
Tickets £12 available from Dani on…
01584 881 564
07814 986 868
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
http://www.yardbirdarts.com
How to find Clows Top Victory Hall
Clows Top Victory Hall, 
Tenbury Road, 
Clows Top, 
DY14 9HP
http://www.clowstopvictoryhall.btck.co.uk
Map - https://goo.gl/KtwgWn


Saturday, 1 December
John Etheridge @ Fownhope New Memorial Hall, Herefordshire
When
Saturday, 1 Dec 2018
Description
John Etheridge - Solo Guitar - http://www.john-etheridge.com
With solo support set from Remi Harris - Guitar - http://www.remiharris.com
7pm Doors - 7.30pm Start 
Bar and Refreshments (local ale and cider)
Tickets £12 available from Dani on…
01584 881 564
07814 986 868
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
http://www.yardbirdarts.com
How to find Fownhope New Memorial Hall…
Fownhope New Memorial Hall
Hereford 
HR1 4PE


Tuesday, 18 December
Amy Roberts @ Clows Top Victory Hall, Worcestershire
When
Tuesday, 18 Dec 2018
Description
Swing Jazz with…
Amy Roberts - Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet - http://www.amyrobertsjazz.co.uk
Remi Harris - Guitar - http://www.remiharris.com
Tom Moore - Double Bass
7pm Doors - 7.30pm Start 
Bar and Refreshments (local ale and cider)
Tickets £12 available from Dani on…
01584 881 564
07814 986 868
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
http://www.yardbirdarts.com
How to find Clows Top Victory Hall
Clows Top Victory Hall, 
Tenbury Road, 
Clows Top, 
DY14 9HP
http://www.clowstopvictoryhall.btck.co.uk
Map - https://goo.gl/KtwgWn


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