Thoughts on Tommaso’s Power of Three, 22 February 2023

A band primarily playing bebop, without a drummer, is not to everybody’s taste. It is to mine. You get the combined sound and great clarity from each instrument. This band’s musicianship and joy in playing together  were exceptional. Power of Three indeed.

Tommaso Starace is a great presenter: lovely stories,  good (and very bad) jokes, and most important, he was clear about song titles and composers. As to the latter, Steve did have a query or two about attribution. But the thing is his playing. His mastery of the instrument is amazing, with a big dynamic range, ideas piling on one another, accurate slurs (if that is not an odd combination) even in the altissimo. He radiates the joy of playing. Interestingly, when others are soloing he leaves the stage, giving them all the space in both the sonic and spatial senses. You can still see him loving what his friends are doing on-stage.

Jim Watson is special. He is in a class with very few members: those whose left hand is as strong and inventive as his/her right. I could not pick out an individual solo to talk about. They were all superb. Fleece Jazz has a listening audience, but shouts and whistles were heard after several of his solos. He doesn’t go onto automatic when accompanying, either. Like all three of the musicians, his listening skills are A+.

Australian Luke Fowler is new to Fleece Jazz, but I hope we will see him many times in the future. Of course, without a drummer, his pulse had to be strong and accurate. Luke is a brilliant soloist. Although he is perfectly competent in the highest register of the bass, he doesn’t rely on that register for solos. 

Thanks to a lovely band for a great evening. Steve agrees, and brings a set list for you to see.

The next gig will have you dancing in your seats or on a dance floor. The wonderful nonet, “Jivin’ Miss Daisy”, will be returning to us. See the poster at

Take care,



  1. Kansas City Blues (Charlie Parker)
  2. This Here (Bobby Timmons) as performed by The Cannonball Adderley Quintet
  3. Del Sasser (Sam Jones) as performed by The Cannonball Adderley Quintet
  4. Kiki (Charlie Parker) Did Tommaso mean Ko-Ko?
  5. Autumn in New York (Vernon Duke)
  6. Caravan (Duke Ellington)

*          *          *           *         *        *        *

  1. If I Should Lose You (Ralph Rainger/Leo Robin)
  2. Passport (Charlie Parker)
  3. Speak Low (Kurt Weill/Ogden Nash)
  4. Segment (Charlie Parker)
  5. Work Song (Nat Adderley)
  6. ENCORE: Voyage (Kenny Barron)*

* Voyage was performed by Stan Getz, accompanied by pianist Kenny Barron. Barron performed with Getz for the last five years of the saxophonist’s career.

Thoughts on Dave Lewis’s 1Up Band, 8 February 2023

Last night we had two deps at this gig due to illness in the band , but they were amazing. We wish Neville Malcolm and Robin Aspland quick recoveries.  Jerry Logan was the bassist: he was the pulse of the band, inventive and accurate. Carl Hudson played piano and keyboard with intensity and joy.

This was a band with power and love throughout the evening. We loved Dave Lewis’s raw, yet lyrical sound on tenor sax. Rod Youngs is a brilliant and very powerful drummer.

There are some jazz singers with “little girl” voices, and those singing from the throat, not the belly. Lizzie Deane must have the diaphragm of an opera singer. She has a huge dynamic range, and a timbre range from sweet to howl and everything in between. She moves from up front vocalist to band member with ease.

Whether in up tempo happy, slow intense ballad or a shouting cry of pain, the band clearly had a love of the material. They also had a joy in listening to each other. Yes, it was a lovely gig.

I have to say that the techy didn’t have a great night, what with lighting troubles, and reverberant mics. I wonder who that could be. Oh yes: me.

On Wednesday 22 February, the very welcome return of saxophonist Tommaso Starace, with his “Power of Three”. He will be with Jim Watson on piano and Luke Fowler on bass. It will be a varied and delicious evening, do come.

Thanks again to Steve for providing the set list.

Take care,



Turn It Round


Deep Underground

Hurt Inside

Rain on Venus

Sun Was In My Eyes

I Don’t Need No Doctor

Ain’t It True

*          *          *           *         *        *        *

A Real Mother For Ya (Johnny “Guitar” Watson)

Take A Little Time

Bright Lights

Either ‘Love Gives More Than A Taste’ or ‘Got To Hold On To That Feeling’ *

Good Man

Great Big Hole In My Heart*

Blue Horizon

Sweetest Thing

ENCORE: What Do People Say?*

* Dave Lewis announced most numbers but by the second set he would occasionally just say two words to the band about the next number without telling the audience what they were about to hear or what they had heard.  Those titles with an asterisk are my guesses based on lyrical refrains within the song.