Whitley Bay Classic Jazz Party
“This is stupendously stomping – hot, hot, hot – fabulous playing by all, especially Jamie Brownfield as Jabbo, Ewan Bleach and David B. You can see how much the musicians were into this, by watching their knees!”
Review of Jamie Brownfield Quartet
on 3rd November 2017
If you’d like to watch a video clip of Jamie’s band performing at Wakefield Click here
Jamie Brownfield: Trumpet
Tom Kincaid: Piano
Ken Marley: Bass
Jack Cotterill: Drums
Chamber jazz this wasn’t—and all the better for it: robust, rollicking and hugely entertaining, this is a band that really knows how to put on a show. Jamie Brownfield is a fine trumpeter, with a technique that was able to give expression to that instrument’s many incarnations, from New Orleans to be-bop; and although there were plenty of bright, piercing improvisations, he was no less adept on the slower numbers. His take on ‘The Good Life’ stripped back the lushness of the Tony Bennett original, restoring to the melody the wistful sadness of the lyrics. His take on ‘Where or When’ was similarly affecting. And when he deployed a mute, his trumpet took on a near-vocal quality, a striking embellishment to the ballads.
Jamie had a fine musical partner in pianist Tom Kincaid. The first set was largely up-tempo, and powerfully supported with storming, two-handed octave runs, clever use of dissonances and a technique that gives extra meaning to the term ‘powerful playing.’ His playing and Jamie’s were remarkably well integrated for music which didn’t once sound stale or over-rehearsed—even when the music was at its most fastest or most complex. But it was in the second set when the full measure of Tom’s pianism came to the fore: the rhythm section played a stand-alone number, Abdullah Ibrahim’s lovely ‘Water from an Ancient Well.’ The performance was a truly soulful and deeply appreciative rendering of the original, during which Ken Marley’s bass was also much to the fore.
In Ken Marley, we have a bass player for whom slap bass is not merely part of jazz history. It was fascinating to see and hear how he was able to combine this seldom-used technique in combination with contemporary, cutting edge playing.
It was one of the pleasures of the evening that he was given sufficient space to have his talents foregrounded. And whatever the genre or tempo—New Orleans marching patterns, the demands of be-bop, Coldplay, gentle ballads—drummer
Jack Cotterill was unfazed and always responsive. And his solos demonstrated that he has a musical voice of his own.
This was an evening full of musical delights—energetic, varied and at times, thrilling. Serious music, certainly, but so much fun, too.
©J Whitman 05.11.2017
“Just to say what a pleasure it was hearing your quartet last Thursday at the Dereham Golf club. I have enjoyed listening to your cd every day since. Definitely my kind of music so I wish you all well and will look forward to knowing if you have any future cd’s to keep me smiling. See you back in Dereham with Simon,
Florence – Dereham Oct 2017
Better than staying in!
A big thanks to all who came last night to the first of our new programme of top-notch jazz featuring some of the finest contemporary UK players and with the fab Jamie Brownfield Quartet providing the opening show.
It was a great evening and the candlelit, cabaret-style setting provided the perfect setting.
Merryn, Milton Rooms, Malton
Pershore Jazz Club enjoyed a very special session of music last night. Jamie Brownfield, and Liam Byrne brought their Quintet to town and were re-united with top reeds man Alan Barnes with whom they first appeared with several years ago at Pershore Jazz Festival.
A packed house help create a truly sophisticated evening and enthusiastically enjoyed some brilliant musicianship. A memorable session and one which begs to be repeated.
Graham Smith, March 2017
Trumpeter Jamie Brownfield, riding high in the domestic polls, was well overdue a return visit, having last been seen here last in October 2013 with the Brownfield-Byrne Quintet. That highly-respected group, built around the style of the John Kirby band from the 30s, is still in existence, but the two main protagonists are now spreading their wings as featured soloists (Liam Byrne is due here in June with his Classic Jazz Quartet). So how did Jamie do at the head of his own Quartet? Pretty darn well, that’s how. On his opening number, ‘Taking a Chance on Love’, the influence of Charlie Shavers (the main man with John Kirby) was immediately apparent – no bad thing, and don’t forget that Shavers went on to more than hold his own on ‘Jazz at the Phil’ against the likes of Roy Eldridge and Howard McGhee. But Jamie and the rest of the band went on to spring quite a few surprises, the first one being to go back and forward in time simultaneously on ‘Going Down to New Orleans’, where they echoed the ancient sounds of a N.O. brass band while playing in a style still heard in the streets of that city today. Tom Kincaid channelled Dr John’s piano to a ‘T’ on this one, although he probably out-Johned him in the second half on a similarly-styled ‘Putting on the Ritz’. That might tell you that there was a tremendous variety of material on show. Bass player Ken Marley contributed his own moving ballad ‘Tender’ as well as some superb bass solos throughout the night, there was a Coldplay tune called ‘God Put a Smile Upon my Face’, and Tom Kincaid did a trio version of ‘Water from an Ancient Well’ (which, incidentally, Jeff Barnhart – due in September – has been known to perform). The closing number was Clark Terry’s ‘Brotherhood of Man’, on which gospel-ish tune Jack Cotterill propelled things along manfully, as he had done all night. A very satisfying gig overall, and special thanks to Jamie for proving able to absorb so many influences (apart from Shavers and Terry, I also detected hints of Fats Navarro, Ray Nance and Clifford Brown), and then have the technique to mould them into his own distinctive trumpet style. Good stuff. Jack Cotterill Tom Kincaid
Kendal Jazz Club, Feb 2017
“Beautiful … What a lovely track!”
Jamie Cullum, BBC Radio 2
Hi Jamie, thanks for getting in touch – we’ve had lots of feedback and everyone was really pleased with your performance. We’ll definitely keep you in mind for future events. (Shortly followed by a repeat booking)
Amanda Gaston Clares of Llandudno
“These guys were great. The Jamie Brownfield Quartet at the Marsden Jazz Festival last Sunday. I thought I would just nip in and take a few pictures but after a few minutes I was hooked and stayed for the whole set!”
Martin Singleton Marsden Jazz Festival 2016
“A reassuring thought, that: British jazz needs all the younger talent it can attract to ensure its future …though the ‘trad’ diehards whose tastes begin and end in the New Orleans of a century ago might feel that this superb technician is, indeed, a player more for the future than the past.
With his ‘Rising Star of British Jazz Award’ and multiple CDs in the locker, Jamie is popular, talented, enthusiastic, often high-decibel and high-velocity but clearly not bound by any loyalty to the Joe ‘King’ Olivers of yesteryear. Possibly Dizzy Gillespie, more like ! As he hit the high notes and danced his fingers, this way and that, along the valves I was reminded of the late, lamented comic/trumpeter Roy Castle who used to talk of ‘triple tonguing’.
I was also reminded of comments that other envious trumpeters used to say of Louis Armstrong that he could play the trumpet ‘like others play the clarinet’…….”
Sutton Coldfield JC, Ocober 2016