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Brel, Saturday 3rd December

This was billed as being a performance by the Kim Macari Quartet – indeed, it said so on the chalkboard outside the room in Brel where the band were playing – but there were definitely six people on stage. Somewhere along the way, her quartet had gained a couple of saxophonists. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to catch their names during the band namecheck at the end, but a little bit of internet research suggests that they were Nick Browne on alto and Riley Stone-Lonergan on tenor. In fact, a bit more research suggests that this was Macari’s Somethin’ Else band, in which case the full line-up was Nick Browne (alto), Riley Stone-Lonergan (tenor), Kim Macari (trumpet), Will Talbot (piano), Tom Wheatley (double bass) and Steve Hanley (drums).

Macari and her band didn’t do anything at all new, but delivered a highly-enjoyable set of hard bop tunes by the likes of Art Blakey and Cannonball Adderley which got better and better as the afternoon went on. The three horn players dominated: there was the occasional piano solo, and a decent drum solo towards the end, but it was Macari on trumpet and the two saxophonists who got to do most of the soloing. All three were good, but it was the bluesy alto player who impressed me the most.

A most enjoyable afternoon, even if the youth of the band members made me feel very old indeed.

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