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Bebop Spoken There

Randy Brecker: "It's still a thrill for me today to stand out front of a big band as the soloist and hear all that sound going on behind you. It brings the best out of me" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Monday May 20

Afternoon

Jazz

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

?????

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The 3 B's @ The Sage. Tuesday Dec. 11.

Big Chris Barber Band: Chris Barber (tmb); Mike Henry, Peter Rudeforth (tpts); Rick Exall, Ami Roberts, Peter Brandsmar (reeds); Joe Farler (gtr); Jackie Flavelle (bs); Gregor Beck (dms).
Acker Bilk and his Paramount Jazz Band: Acker Bilk (clt/vcl), Ron Drake (clt); Enrico Tomasso (tpt); Ian Bateman (tmb); John Day (bs); Ritchie Bryant (dms); ? (pno); ? (bjo).
Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen:Kenny Ball (tpt/vcl), Ben Cummings (tpt); John Bennett (tmb); ? (clt); Hugh Ledigo (pno); Bill Coleman (bs); Nick Millward (dms).
(Review by Lance.).
Hall One was 3 tiers full - mainly people of a certain age who recalled the Trad Boom of the 1960's. Where did they all come from and why don't they, say just 10% of them,  support local jazz clubs?
However, that is a question for another day. Tonight was all about nostalgia and, despite the longevity of the leaders (287 years), some very good music.
The Barber Band, it has to be said, led the Parade by the length of Bourbon St which was of course their opening number. Lots of early Ellington including Rent Party Blues, Jungle Nights, Merry Go Round and a tremendous version of East St. Louis Toodle-oo. The saxes on this one were absolutely sublime. They also shone on All Blues from Miles' Kind of Blue Album. Barber may be a bumbling announcer but there's nothing indecisive 'bout his 'boning. The tone has mellowed with the years although, when the occasion demands it, he can growl like Tricky Sam.
They played a few of the hits the most effective being Petite Fleur featuring Exall (or was it Brandsmar?) on clarinet. Beautiful sound. 
Throughout the set the stage lighting was used to good effect and added greatly to the ambience.
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Acker was wheeled on stage in a wheelchair - the result of a fall, they said, - but nevertheless managed to retain his distinctive sound particularly in the chalumeau register. The 83 year old was at his most effective singing and telling gags. His fellow clarinettist Ron Drake was another matter. A very facile Goodman/De Franco style player he stood out as also did Enrico Tomasso who is never less than brilliant. Bateman played some lusty trombone and the rhythm section, some of whose names I didn't catch, kept things stomping along.
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Kenny Ball too was dependent on a bumper up in the form of Ben Cummings who blew trumpet like Kenny used to do. As in the case of Acker, Kenny was featured mainly as vocalist opening up with that good old good one So Do I. Sentimental Journey - how appropriate! - Midnight in Moscow. a jazzed up piano version of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor showcasing Hugh Ledigo and Someday You'll Be Sorry were some of the numbers that followed. It was all great foottapping stuff but it was also bus time so I reluctantly had to draw myself away from what had been a glorious evening of nostalgia.
See you next year guys - I hope.
Lance.

3 comments :

Paul Thompson said...

The Barber band(s) were nothing short of superb. That reeds section was absolutely amazing and the whole ensemble was just so balanced and tight with impeccable phrasing. The arrangements were incredibly good. I could have listened to that band all evening - absolutely wonderful!
It was sad to see a player of Acker Bilk's calibre reduced to this. He was out of tune and his phrasing was poor, as was his timing. He was really struggling and should hang up his clarinet.
Kenny Ball looked like some ghastly animated waxwork and did a lot of "business" directing the band. It was something of a cheek, I thought, for him to refer to Ben Cummings as "Second Trumpet" when he was clearly lead trumpet! I watched Ball closely and he was barely playing. There were too many "fill-ins" such as the piano trio playing the jazz version of Bach's Toccata in D minor and the extended drum solo from Millward was just too much for too long. The nepotistic arrival of Ball's son to sing the Jungle song was another step too far and kissing his father had me wishing I'd had a convenient sick bag. Barber- brilliant! Bilk - Sad! Ball- add an S!

Lance said...

Fortunately I'd left for the bus so I missed the Jungle Song! Strangely - or perhaps not - when I checked my review of last year's concert the program for all 3 bands was practically identical! However, I know where you're coming from and, although I totally agree with you, my heart overrides my mind and I was surprised and delighted to see so many turn out. What would be good would be if Acker did the announcements for Chris Barber!

Paul Thompson said...

I completely agree with you about the announcements, Lance.

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