17 April 2017
April’s featured soloist at the Royal Oak was Sam Walker (http://www.samwalker.uk.com/about-sam-walker.html) with his 1958 Selmer Mark 6 tenor saxophone. As a well-known performer and educator in the area, Sam always attracts a following that includes fellow musicians, jazz fans and pupils. Some come just to listen, some to further their insights into advanced jazz soloing in the Walker style. The evening’s repertoire focussed on mainstream standards, delivered with many variations in tempo, feel and approach. The more bluesy sounds of Lover Man, Willow Weep and Sandu were contrasted by Hubbard’s Up Jumped Spring and Vernon Young’s Weaver Of Dreams. To support Sam's inspired flights of virtuosic extemporisation the house band ran at full throttle and this month Tony, Roger and David were fortunate to have dep. bassist Peter Hutchinson who kept the timing, harmony and form in good order. It was a full-on evening of hardcore bop contrasted with sweet ballads that tested the band and showcased Sam, who was on top form.
Next month (Wednesday May 3rd) features the mellow sax and flute of the popular David Brown.