Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Barber still cutting it at age of 83

Until recently, British jazz legends Kenny Ball, Chris Barber and Mr Acker Bilk had been touring as the '3Bs'.

But following Ball's death earlier this year and with Bilk falling ill last week, Barber returned to the Waterfront stage last night as the '1B'.

At 83, it was brave of him to take on the task of performing not just his own set, but covering Bilk's spot as well. He and his 10-piece band kicked off with Bourbon Street Parade and Jubilee Stomp, followed by a string of Duke Ellington tracks from the late 1920s – Barber's speciality.

We were also treated to selections by Tommy Dorsey and Miles Davis, as well as a couple of the absent Bilk's hits.

The musicianship was exemplary, and the players – including Northern Ireland's own Jackie Flavelle on double bass– had plenty of character.

ANDREW JOHNSTON

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