The sun shone on Marsden again today as day 3 of the Marsden Jazz Festival got under way. I arrived in the village about 10.45 just in time to catch the Shelley Music Centre Big Band get ready to play. Some final adjustments to music stands and they were in flight………..
My favourite was when they launched into Joe Zawinuls “Birdland” which was effectively the theme tune of possible the greatest ever the jazz-rock group, Weather Report.
I was particularly impressed with the guitar and bass playing and the cool dude on lead guitar (a Gretsch no less) sporting a very 70s hairstyle.
The music was very well received by a small but very appreciative audience.
After listening to the band for about half and hour I decided to wander up to the bandstand in the park to catch the Hope Bank Jazz Collective. A little detour via the coffee shop to sit on the veranda overlooking the river was a pleasant diversion. We certainly know how to live the cosmopolitan lifestyle here in West Yorkshire!
The band comprised of an eclectic mix of old and young, male and female but all playing with commitment and enthusiasm. When I saw the band leader I had to do a double take as he was the very image of Jo Zawinul, right down to the little cap he was wearing.
My favourite piece they played was Duke Ellington’s “Soul Limbo” with some excellent inter-play between the brass and reed sections. There was one young man on trombone and it is fair to say that the trombone he was playing was considerable bigger than he was………but it was tremendous to see such a youngster playing as part of the band. I had been listening to a lot of Duke Ellington the other day and this was one of the tracks I had been playing.
Again the photographers were out in force and (me being one of them) a good audience had built up to listen to the band play. Again I was particularly impressed with the hairstyle of the drummer………there must be some trend developing here.
You will note that I have not featured any of the professional musicians in these two blogs and that is because I wanted to highlight the excellent amateur music scene here in West Yorkshire. Moreover, in an age when young people come in for so much criticism it is nice to highlight the positive side of young people and what they contribute to the community.
So well done to them, to parents who support them, all the schools, colleges, music groups and bands that give them the chance to express themselves………….and who knows, I may just have heard a future Mike Osborne, Harry Carney, Art farmer or John McLaughlin on my travels in the last two days.
Thank you to the Marsden Jazz Festival and all who organise it, and you may only be a small fish in a very big pond in terms of festivals but you are still a VERY IMPORTANT fish!