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Live Reviews

Jazz At Snape Proms

By Published: September 3, 2010
Pine, like Cowley and Long, is an entertaining front man. He's a lover of jazz who successfully projected that love from the stage. At times his enthusiasm created a tendency to be too repetitive in his solos, but this was balanced out by his bandmates whose own solos were equally expressive and energetic while being a little more economical. Pianist Zoe Rahman
Zoe Rahman
Zoe Rahman

was impressive as always, her solo on Pine's "The Tale Of Joe Harriott
Joe Harriott
Joe Harriott
1928 - 1973
"—dedicated to the influential free jazz saxophonist—was notable for its variety and expressiveness. Cuban violinist Omar Puente was rather underused, but his solos were melodic and intriguing, especially his extended workout on another Pine composition, "The Sound Of Jazz?"

Pine swapped between bass clarinet, soprano saxophone and flute during the performance and showed his mastery of each instrument. His technique is stunning and he seems to have almost total control of his breathing: as a result Pine can play long, intense and complex solos one after the other and still have plenty of energy to skip and dance around on the stage.

"Creole Swing," a composition inspired by Creole cooking, according to Pine, showed his soloing ability to its best advantage. Pine played bass clarinet on this tune and delivered a long and inventive solo on the instrument, referencing "Summertime," "Air On A G-String," "Whistle While You Work" and "God Save The Queen"—the UK National Anthem, not the Sex Pistols' punk classic—among others, all the while making such joyous and excited noises that the bass clarinet sounded like a happy elephant on a picnic.

By the end of the evening he had also persuaded and cajoled the Snape audience to get up and dance themselves. After a discussion with the crowd about how many times we could leap into the air he led the hall in a spirited and successful attempt to beat the band's previous record for the most consecutive jumps completed by an audience in one go—the Snape audience's apparent achievement of 200 jumps doubled the previous record, if Pine is to be believed. The happy, if slightly exhausted, audience members made their way home reflecting that Pine's brand of jazz, at least, is good for the body as well as the soul.

Photo Credits

All Photographs: Bruce Lindsay

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