A Jazz Christmas Carol by Alan Barnes

Fri 20 December 2019

7.30pm

Alan BarnesJazz at Progress is delighted to bring you a very special Christmas performance of Alan Barnes’ A Jazz Christmas Carol, based on Charles Dickens classic novel. The band comprises the cream of British jazz musicians:

The Alan Barnes Octet – with Alan Barnes on saxophone, clarinet and bass clarinet, Bruce Adams on trumpet and flugelhorn, Mark Nightingale on trombone, Robert Fowler on saxophones and clarinet, Karen Sharp on saxophones and clarinet, David Newton on piano, Simon Thorpe on bass, and Clark Tracey on drums.

Like the Dickens classic itself, Alan Barnes’ “Christmas Carol” has something for everyone. A hugely entertaining night out that is also a treat for the jazz connoisseur; it will delight anyone who loves music or literature – or just Christmas!

This suite of pieces takes the audience through the characters and scenes of ‘A Christmas Carol”. Brief readings from the original Dickens tell the story, and after each scene eight virtuoso musicians bring the characters and scenes to life, switching audiences from hilarity to pathos with a skill that would have done credit to Dickens himself!

A gruff baritone sax plays Scrooge, his lost love Belle is a lyrical alto, his clerk Bob Cratchit a cheery clarinet and Marley’s Ghost walks in the person of a swinging trombone. Just as Scrooge’s ghosts take him on a tour of his life, so the movements of this suite seemed each to have a benevolent presiding ghost, celebrating the spirit of jazz greats past and present.

The music and readings inspire the full range of Dickens’s imagination and emotion: from terror and remorse through to love and then irresistible joy: “God Bless Us Every One!”

Barnes is a true Dickensian. He is a serious reader of the novels. It is a clear blunder of providence that he was born too late to appear in their pages!” Hot News.

A taster of Ebenezer Scrooge’s “Bah Humbug!” piece in Alan Barnes’ Christmas Carol can be heard at the bottom of this web page: https://www.alanbarnesjazz.com/a-jazz-christmas-carol

Jazz at Progress is presented in association with Jazz in Reading.