Jumping Up and Down with Courtney Pine

5 Jul

Courtney Pine, whose 1986 debut album Journey to the Urge Within became the first serious jazz album to make the top 40 in Britain, last night proved he has still got it by capping the first ever Mostly Jazz Festival at Moseley Park with a stellar headline performance.  Pine wowed an enthusiastic audience with an eclectic set that included him leading a conga around the park whilst playing a sax and ended with the whole audience literally jumping up and down on the spot.

Pine’s set was a fitting end to what was an impressive inaugural festival.  Earlier, on the Saturday the sun shined as local eight piece Sister Henry and the Prescriptions set the tone for the festival with a lively performance of funk and soul.  Later in the day sharp-suited Geordie band Nick Pride and the Pimptones delivered a kooky fusion of jazz, soul and hip-hop before

Quantic and his Combo Barbaro

Quantic and his Combo Barbaro appeared and delivered the most well received set of the first day.  The band played a fusion of Latin American styles delivered by beautiful south American vocalist Nidia Gongora, and the audience howled their appreciation.  The organic beer and cider flowed in time for the after party at the Hare and Hounds, featuring a manic DJ set from Craig Charles.

The following day, hangovers allowing, was all about the roots.  Local pioneer Steve Ajao began proceedings on the sax on the main stage, before heading over to the Swing Meadow Stage to perform an intimate acoustic blues set.  Next up was 92-year old Birmingham legend Andy Hamilton and his band the Bluenotes before the afternoon was spent marking the 100th anniversary of gypsy jazz in the company of bands such as the Bright Size Gypsies and the Gary Potter Trio.  After that, it was over to Courtney.

Hundreds of people passed through the festival gates over the course of the weekend, with the only disappointment being that the audience was not more representative of the rich diversity both on stage and that of the surrounding area.  As Courtney Pine put it on stage, jazz festivals are ‘all about harmony’.  The first Mostly Jazz Festival really got people jumping; next year it can make the ground shake.


One Response to “Jumping Up and Down with Courtney Pine”


  1. The Moseley Folk Festival: keeping alive Moseley’s bohemian tradition « In Birmingham - August 20, 2010

    […] as Birmingham’s bohemian quarter.  Carl Gervais, co-organiser of the team that also staged the highly successful Mostly Jazz Festival earlier this summer, told InBirmingham about the significance of staging the event in Moseley.  […]

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