I laughingly said this could be my gig of the year and then, suddenly, I wasn't laughing - this one was going to be damn close to being a contender!
It was an absolute dream. Ray Dales is just such a beautiful alto player - Benny Carter/Charlie Parker lives beneath his fingers. This gig shouldn't have been on the Concourse - it should have been Hall 2 eying Hall 1.
In a perfect world.
What we got was awesome alto, pulsating piano alongside a rhythm section that did them justice and swung.
The die was cast with Dale's blast on I Got Rhythm. It may be the most overused section of changes but it's also the one that produces the best results! Sunny, more alto excellence then Now's The Time and this was the time for young Harrison to throw his hat into the ring. The bopometer was high. It rose even higher with our young maestro's solo on Lady Be Good.
Dalesy too was at the top of his game - I'll Remember April was pure Bird Lives. Lovely to hear Our Day Will Come again. A timely reminder that this was one of the great oft overlooked standards that Matt Monro championed.
Much more. Bass and drums never faltered. Both soloed effectively. Veteran crooner Bob Caswell sang a couple to open up the second set - Don't Get Around Much Anymore and My Funny Valentine. He's still got it. Bravo to all concerned and lovely to meet Cathy from California and her friend Paul from South Shields. Watch out for photos from Paul..
This was a good good gig.