REVIEW: The Jazz Repertory Company's 100 Years of Jazz in 99 Minutes at 2018 South Coast Jazz Festival

100 Years of Jazz in 99 Minutes at South Coast Jazz Festival
Photo credit: Lisa Wormsley

The Jazz Repertory Company's 100 Years of Jazz in 99 Minutes
(South Coast Jazz Festival, Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham-by-Sea, 20 January 2018. Review by Charlie Anderson.)

The fourth South Coast Jazz Festival sees a line up that embraces a wide array of jazz styles, so what better way to kick off the festival than a concert that presents 100 Years of Jazz in 99 Minutes, performed by The Jazz Repertory Company.

Beginning with pianist Nick Dawson’s rendition of Maple Leaf Rag, the band then entered performing some classic New Orleans marching music, followed by early jazz classics Livery Stable Blues and Cake Walking Babies (From Home).

Trumpeter Enrico Tomasso was the stand-out performer for the first set performing in the contrasting styles of Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke whilst saxophonist Pete Long impressed the most in the second set with his ability to re-create the sounds of Charlie Parker, Gerry Mulligan, Cannonball Adderley and John Coltrane. The addition of trumpeter and vocalist Georgina Jackson illustrated her versatility, singing tunes made famous by Billie Holiday and Chet Baker, and also playing trumpet on tunes such as Birdland.

It was fascinating to see each member of the band regularly changing instrument to suit the particular style, but the most impressive thing about the band is its unique combination of energy and humour together with a thorough knowledge of the jazz tradition. Leader Richard Pite has ensured that each classic tune is reproduced with close attention to detail, as was illustrated by their performance of So What, which included the rarely-played Bill Evans introduction and some beautiful bass playing from Dave Chamberlain.

Sponsored by the ever-jovial promoter and manager John Billett, this was a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining evening in what is set to be another great South Coast Jazz Festival.

Charlie Anderson is the founder and editor of Sussex Jazz Magazine.

The South Coast Jazz Festival runs from 20 – 27 January - website 

LINK: Preview feature South Coast Jazz Festival 2018

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