Jazz at Franlingham
DAVID WAKEFIELD Framlingham Castle
The last rays of a delightful summer day probed the ancient battlements of this natural outdoor setting, and added to the Framlingham atmosphere of relaxed good humour.
Two sets by Ellingtonia, the Clark Tracy-led seven-piece dedicated to recreating the music of Duke Ellington, sandwiched an outstanding set by the ebullient Claire Martin, recent winner of Singer of theYear in the BBC Jazz Awards. Excellent backing from Gareth Williams (piano), Iain Ballamy (tenor sax), Geoff Gascoyne (bass) and Ian Thomas (drums).
Although Ellingtonia duly played the familiar Duke tunes, it was the less well-known items that caught the ear – like the oddly-named Pitter Panther Patter, the double bass feature that Ellington wrote for his own teenage prodigy, Jimmy Blanton, to which Andrew Cleyndert duly did justice; and Isfahan, from the Far East Suite, interpreted by Ben Castle on tenor sax. Mark Nightingale (trombone) and multi-reed expert Andy Panayi completed the front line. Clark's famous dad Stan was on piano.