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Courtney Pine - Transition In Tradition Tour, Chapel Arts Centre, Bath

If you love jazz and the smoky rhythms of Afro-Caribbean music, you’ll the love Courtney Pine and his band’s new Transition in Tradition tour, a homage to Sidney Bechet the world famous jazz musician whose improvisation and creativity inspired many a young jazz player. The Chapel Arts Centre in Bath is the perfect small and intimate venue to showcase jazz music; the hall has great acoustics and when we arrived it was laid out like a cabaret club with small tables and chairs throughout the room each with a lighted candle, a great atmosphere in which to enjoy some world class jazz.

The gig was opened by Cuban born violinist and jazz musician Omar Puente with his hot mix of Latin and jazz played by him and his band, which also accompany Courtney Pine. The mood took us right to Cuba, fantastic electric violin playing from Omar Puente backed by throbbing bongo drums and an exceedingly beautiful girl playing the piano whose long black hair rippled past her waist. No feet were still and everyone was playing a bongo riff of their own on the table tops.

So, after a short break, Courtney Pine burst through the crowd playing his sax for all he was worth weaving through the tables. He has a spectacular talent and is at the top of his game as a musician having been recognised in the New Years Honours List in 2009 with a CBE for his services to jazz music. We enjoyed well over two hours of the best jazz you’ll ever hear outside of New Orleans, Courtney Pine loves to play music and as he joked with the audience he could play it for as long as we could stand it! My favourite piece was “Au Revoir” a soulful tribute to South African jazzmen which made the most of his legendary technical skills as well as his passion for music.

The evening closed with quite a bit of audience participation which we all loved, and showed how much we were in thrall to Courtney – when he said “jump” we did! We had a great time and came away feeling exhilarated and happy and it can’t get better than that.

Jacquie Vowles

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