DAVID WAKEFIELD Norfolk and Norwich Festival event at Norwich Playhouse
Any notion that young musicians do not take as readily to jazz as to other forms of music was shown for the nonsense that it is by this excellent concert. The talent has always been out there; the trick is to spot it, nurture it and guide it to the right teacher.
This programme for younger players run by the Academy, and directed by Nick Smart, is, on this evidence, already bearing fruit – and this band included three players with strong local links, trumpeter Freddie Gavita, guitarist Luke Hellebronth and pianist Kit Downes.
Gavita, who has come up through the ranks of the Norwich Students Jazz Orchestra, is amazingly assured and fluent on both trumpet and flugelhorn: And both Downes and Hellebronth were able to show their paces with accomplished solos on John Scofield's tune True Love.
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Guest star was Brit saxophone star Tim Garland, in his second festival gig, and it was immediately noticeable that he took the band youngsters on to another level as soon as he came on.
His solo feature contribution was a lavish version of Wayne Shorter's Infant Eyes, and both he and the band obviously enjoyed a crackling version of the same composer's number Witch Hunt.
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It was yet more evidence that jazz is alive and well among the young.