I spent last weekend at the 2007 Scarborough Jazz Festival. The Scarborough trip has become something of an annual event now : coming just two weeks before the Marsden Festival it provides a relaxing opportunity to actually listen to music before all the rushing, fetching and carrying sets in. As usual, the programme provided a good mixture of names - some familiar, some new. Highlights included Laura Fowles, Stan Tracey, Martin Taylor and, of course, Alan Barnes. But the most enjoyable of all the sets - one which seemed to capture the excitement and the fun which is what good jazz should be - was Richie Barshay's Roundtable. Barshay is a young American percussionist and he was joined by a couple of New York based saxophonists Daniel Blake and Petr Cancura and London-based bassist, Mike Janisch. Completing the Roundtable was the superb young British vibraphone player Jim Hart. It was ninety minutes which will live long in the memory. The whole Festival was a most enjoyable occasion - let's hope that Marsden is as successful.
I also got the opportunity to take some half-decent photographs. The first shows trumpeter Byron Wallen who appeared with the Tony Kofi Trio. The second shows the North Sea waves doing battle with the Scarborough sands. The sands won.