Ben, Bean, Bird and Barnes
Paying homage to three of the most influential giants of Jazz, this outstanding quintet, led by Alan Barnes, celebrates the music of each of them. One of the great tenor saxophonists in early jazz history, Ben Webster was considered one of the “big three” of swing tenors along with Coleman Hawkins, who was Webster’s main influence, and Lester Young. With a warm breathy sound on ballads that’s instantly recognisable and a tough raspy tone on stomps, Webster was Duke Ellington’s first major tenor soloist in the ‘40s. Coleman Hawkins, nicknamed “Bean”, was the first important tenor saxophonist and he remains one of the greatest of all time. A consistently modern improviser with an encyclopedic knowledge of chords and harmonies, Hawkins had a 40-year prime (1925-1965) during which he could hold his own with any competitor. Charlie “Yardbird” Parker practically invented Modern Jazz with bebop along with his contemporaries Dizzy Gillespie and Bud Powell and shaped the course of 20th century music. Rather than basing his improvisations closely on the melody as was done in swing, “Bird” was a master of chordal improvising, creating new melodies that were based on the structure of a song.
Alan Barnes has been at the forefront of British jazz since 1980 and his musicianship and sense of humour have made him hugely popular in jazz clubs and festivals across the UK and beyond. He is best known for his work on clarinet, alto and baritone saxes, where he combines a formidable virtuosity with outstanding musical expression.
Come and join us for what promises to be a gig full of outstanding tunes from the golden eras of swing and bebop played with passion and musical verve.
- Alan Barnes – Alto sax
- Vasilis Xenopoulos – Tenor Sax
- Jim Watson – Piano
- Andrew Cleyndert – Bass
- Clark Tracey – Drums
About Fleece Jazz:
Fleece Jazz is an independent, non-profit association run by a voluntary committee who have been providing modern and contemporary jazz for 28 years. They book talented musicians and jazz bands from the UK and beyond to perform at Stoke by Nayland Resort, providing the perfect backdrop for these cherished and popular events.
Fleece Jazz events are generally held on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month.