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Earshot Jazz fest starts with 2 strong shows

(Paul de Barros, Seattle Times) The Earshot Jazz Festival got under way this past weekend with two modestly scaled but highly engaging concerts — both challenging and original, but in quite different ways.

In the no-frills-and-folding-chairs downstairs of Town Hall Friday, Endangered Blood, a take-no-prisoners quartet with two reeds accompanied by drums and bass and featuring ex-Seattleites Chris Speed (reeds) and Jim Black (drums), jumped into its raw, sinewy music like a swimmer leaping into a cold sea. No warm-up, just the straight stuff.