25th August 2022

Barry Overstreet – Tenor Sax

James Steele – Alto and Baritone Saxes

Jon Hall – Piano

Neil Sharkey – Bass

Mike Sharkey – Drums

This was a barnstormer of a gig! These two sax players spurred each on to produce some outstanding improvisation in two quite different styles of playing, over the firm foundation of our excellent rhythm section. Starting out with Miles Davis’ “All Blues” the band got into a great groove from the start and never let go from then on. “Blue Bossa”, “There Will Never be Another You”, Stanley Turrentine’s “Sugar”, Herbie Hancock’s “Chameleon” and Freddie Hubbard’s “Povo” all became swinging and funky vehicles, showcasing some amazing and heartfelt saxophone solos accompanied by appreciative responses by the other players and the audience. The latter were with us all the way and it was good to see how many people stayed on until the end.

Both the leaders took a feature, Barry warming our hearts on “Days of Wine and Roses” and James gracefully soaring on Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood”, done as a duet with piano. As always, Mike’s drumming was a delight for players and audience alike and Neil’s sensitive and accurate bass playing was the perfect partner to that. In fact, if they weren’t brothers you’d still say that musically they are.

Sadly, this will be the last time we hear James for a while as he is off to Glasgow for a jazz course with Tommy Smith. I’m looking forward to hearing the results when he comes back on his hols. Meanwhile we will make sure we get more of Barry in future gigs.

Jon Hall