18 August 2022

Russell Henderson – Alto Sax

Colin Henderson – Alto, Baritone Saxes and Flute

Jon Hall – Piano

Neil Sharkey – Bass

Mike Sharkey – Drums

Russell Henderson, on a rare visit from New Zealand, joined his uncle, Colin, and the Club’s main rhythm section for a programme of jazz standards and improvised blues. The Club was very well attended and the audience responded with enthusiasm.

Opening with “Sunnymoon for Two”, a blues by Sonny Rollins, the band quickly established a close rapport and a sound balance which stayed with them throughout the evening. Russell chose some interesting less familiar numbers to serve as vehicles for his own sterling alto playing and some driving solos from all concerned. These included “Briar Patch” by George Benson, a boogaloo based organ tune associated with Brother Jack McDuff, “Plain Jane” and “Valse Hot” by Sonny Rollins, “The Saga of Harrison Crabfeathers” by Steve Kuhn, which allowed the soloists to explore modal territory over a fast 3 in a bar, and the up-tempo post-bop “Voyage” by Kenny Barron. Colin took a beautiful feature on “Early Autumn” and Russell stretched out on Billie Holliday’s “You’ve Changed”.

Neil on bass and Mike on drums shone throughout and the evening was punctuated by some tasty bass and drum solos. Two Ellington numbers appeared, a very laid back “Just Squeeze Me” and a Russell Henderson original, based on “Satin Doll”, transformed into the fusion style with a Glaswegian style title – “Velvet Gonk”.

It was another great evening of jazz music for Elgin and, judging by the applause and staying power of the audience, a happy one!

Jon Hall

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