MAKING a welcome return after their forced shutdown, Newport Jazz Club opened the doors of the Apollo Theatre on Sunday to a crowd of jazz lovers eager for a return to live concerts.

The Cass Caswell Celebrity Quintet did not disappoint. Led by Island favourite, bassist Cass Caswell, the Quintet performed on a stage set up as a conservatory for the current Apollo production, giving the feel of a small intimate concert but in the comfort of your own home.

The scene was set for a magnificent afternoon with an energetic opening of Strike Up the Band, featuring ex Humphrey Lyttleton tenor sax player Jo Fooks.

Next we were treated to Sinead McCabe on vocals with It Don’t Mean a Thing if it Ain’t Got That Swing.

Thereafter Cass led the band through an 18 number set, giving each member of the band the opportunity to display their virtuosity, while at the same time producing a set list that ranged from New Orleans traditional, via a bossa nova to a rousing finale of Duke Ellington’s Caravan.

Newport Jazz Club were also, belatedly, celebrating their tenth birthday in their current form and between numbers Cass, who was involved with an earlier incarnation of the club, gave an insider’s history of the earlier years.

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon

The Quintet was led by Cass Caswell on upright bass, supported by the multi award-winning Dave Newton (piano), Eddie John (drums), Jo Fooks (tenor sax) and Sinead McCabe (vocals).

Details of the next concert will be announced shortly and tickets will be available from Bill Wills on 523879 or Gerry Cullis on 730601.