Beaufort Jazz

Great music – and you are invited!

Beaufort Jazz May review

The Sharp Four Quartet Beaufort Jazz May 2011

The Sharp Four

Once again the Beaufort Jazz night was quickly upon us and the monthly featured band was the eagerly anticipated “Sharp Four Quartet”. As their name suggests they didn’t hang around and quickly went into the set with Caribbean Carnival and Swing 42 with a nod to Stevie Wonder in between. Jim Bannister was in particularly fine form on guitar as the quartet covered Wes Montgomery’s Road Song and the classic Horace Silver number – Song for my Father with Tom Sykes taking the opportunity to alternate between keyboards and his more usual violin during the set to great effect. Very enjoyable.

The Sharp Four are a fine group of musicians and if you havent managed to catch them performing in the Northwest why not try to make their performance in Chester at that excellent venue Alexanders on June 5th. You will not be disappointed.

A monthly jam night such as Beaufort Jazz can produce some unexpected and memorable moments, which has to be said is part of the enjoyment of being in the audience. You know that you will enjoy the evenings staple of Gypsy Jazz but then there is always the possibility of something a bit different. And so it was last Monday when Pete Shannon put together a trio of himself on bass with Ted Hanley on guitar and Brian Cuddy on keyboards. During the set an unamed vocalist was invited to join them on stage for three priceless numbers.

We didn’t know it at the time but the singer was Doris Steele, veteran of many polished Jazz performances over the years. After the set Doris told us how in the early 70s she met Duke Ellington when they were both performing at the Floral Hall in Southport. Duke was understandably impressed with Doris’s vocals and immediately invited her to join him on tour in America. Unfortunately, family commitments meant that Doris was unable to take him up on his invitation – but the offer remained open and Doris hoped to visit America following year. Sadly Duke became unwell and passed away and the opportunity was never fulfilled. What America missed Beaufort Jazz gained and hopefully Doris will join us again in the near future.

The later part of evening was given over to our traditional Gypsy Jazz jam sessions and its impromptu collaborations. Hot Club duo of Steve Cronin and Bill Cox were joined on stage by Alan Stratton on bass and with a very welcome appearance of Alan Shaw on guitar. Dave Evans fronted a quartet including Beaufort regulars Phil Bernia, Mike Dexter and Rob Curson to give us the Hot Club classics Minor Swing and Sweet Georgia Brown.

As a finale Trez Fez took to the stage to conclude the evening in their usual melodic style. We understand that Trez Fez will have  DVD available in the near future of their recent sell out gig at Heysham Jazz. More information to follow shortly.

The next Beaufort Jazz evening will be on Monday 6th of June and the featured band will be announced in the next few days.

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May 8, 2011 - Posted by | Beaufort Reviews | , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. […] It was at the May Beaufort Jazz evening when we first met Doris who took to the stage with Pete Shannon on upright bass and Brian Cuddy on keyboards. Afterwards Doris chatted with a few Beaufort Jazz regulars and entertained us with her account of meeting Duke Ellington in Southport. […]

    Pingback by Steele and Friends – to feature Monday 5th September « Beaufort Jazz | September 3, 2011 | Reply

  2. Sadly, Doris Steele passed away yesterday (22 May 2014). She was a distant relative and I am really enjoying seeing all the pictures and reading about her.

    Comment by Sharon Gray | May 23, 2014 | Reply


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