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Burt, Champion & Mwamba  -  Sun Feb 07, 2016  |  08:00 pm
Admission £ 8.00 ( £ 6.00 concessions)
Jazz North East likes to create new groups of musicians whom we feel would work well together, and the trio of guitarist George Burt, local bassist Andy Champion, and vibes whizz Corey Mwamba is one of those creations. We brought them together in June 2011 to support American viola star Mat Maneri; they met for the first time only three hours before the gig, but there was an immediate musical chemistry, and their approaches gelled so well that they agreed to play together again if an opportunity arose.

Unfortunately it’s proved impossible since then to re-unite the full quartet, but the trio subsequently did a Newcastle University gig (billed as ‘Life After Mat’) which proved that the magic was still there. So we’re really excited at the prospect of bringing them together once more - the only question is, what took us so long?

The compatibility of Burt and Mwamba is obvious. George launches razor sharp forays on his instrument in a manner that makes him the natural heir of the late Derek Bailey - the only reason he’s not better known must be that he rarely plays outside his native Scotland - while Corey, being largely self-taught, has developed a range of highly individual vibes techniques which are surely not in any coaching manual! In comparison. Andy Champion’s bass playing seems almost conventional, but his support for the other two - setting up hypnotic patterns beneath George’s frenzied attack, engaging in percussive exchanges with Corey - could only come from somebody who combines formidable technique with an acute listening ear.

We’re still determined that we will eventually manage to renew the acquaintance with Mat . . . but in the meanwhile, this is a trio that will astonish and delight you in its own right.

Tickets for this gig are available from Reflex CDs (0191 260 3246) or online from