Jazz masters attract a full house

Alan Barnes and David Newton @ The Green Man, Rackheath

Alan Barnes and David Newton @ The Green Man, Rackheath


The colour has changed, as well as the venue. The popular Rackheath pub is now the home of the long-running Tuesday night jazz club which used to draw in the crowds at the Red Lion at Thorpe.

If this reopening session was anything to go by, then the change of venue has not disaffected the club's many supporters. There wasn't a seat to be had and the standing areas were packed.

A full house was well rewarded by this performance by two of Britain's leading practitioners and a long-time duo – multi-reed expert Alan Barnes and tasty pianist David Newton – whose partnership had the experienced backing of Mike Harris (bass) and Jack Parnell (drums) with Mike Capocci switching from keyboard to vibes.

Barnes, whose announcements are as entertaining as his playing, switched from alto to baritone sax and on to clarinet with ease, his programme ranging from lyrical Billy Strayhorn pieces to searing be-bop. Although Newton is also an outstanding soloist, with a firm two-fisted technique, it is as an accompanist that he really shines. And, as usual, the house trio did not suffer by comparison with their star guests.

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The club will meet every Tuesday, with some star guests lined up for later in the year.