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The Phil Brown Swingtet

Venue: The Walnut Tree Inn, Blisworth, Northants.
Timeline: 12 noon Sunday, 23 October  2011

Phil Brown - trombone
Lester Brown - trumpet & flugelhorn
Mark Aston - clarinet and tenor sax
Andrew Clancy - piano   
Mike Bennett - bass
David Clancy - drums

The Ellington Room at the Walnut Tree has jazz every Sunday from noon to 2.30pm, the bands being arranged, and the occasion hosted, by Tad Newton.

I think it is the best venue for jazz in the area; an attractive lounge, seating about eighty, with a side bar where it is possible to have a drink and a chat without distracting the audience, but still listening to the music.

The hotel has a fine range of real ales, ‘unreal ales’ and wines with an attractive restaurant and bar menu.

Phil Brown’s sextet started life as The Basin Street Six and at some point, I think in the early 2000s, metamorphosed into the ’Swingtet’. I did not hear the earlier band which, from its name, I would guess was what is often referred to as  a ‘trad’ outfit.

By 2005, when its CD Swinging At The Cricks was recorded, it was already
playing in more of a relaxed Dixieland style.

The first time I heard the present Swingtet was about 18 months ago, and by then it had moved further into the mainstream genre.

It is a very tightly-knit group, the six excellent musicians playing forceful, inventive and tasteful solos with very good ensemble work and some nifty arrangements.

Just my cup of tea; this Swingtet really swings! Highly recommended!

Review by John Shaw of the Gayton Jazz Appreciation Society
10 November 2011