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Bebop Spoken There

Michael Feinstein: “Fred Astaire is my favorite singer. To me, he was the perfect interpreter of American popular song.” – (Jazz Times December 2014).

Bud Shank: “Once I saw California – that was it, I stayed.” – (Jazz Journal May 1991)

Archives.

Today Tuesday February 21

Jam Session - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. Free.
Charles Gordon (solo piano) - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Newcastle. 10pm - midnight. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Road to Hong Kong with Colin Aitchison - Part Four.

Q: Ned Kelly’s, it sounds a fun place. Is it purely jazz or do you have to do a bit of everything?
A: Ned Kelly’s is 80%  Dixieland, the rest, 10% Swing & Latin Jazz with a little Be-Bop and  the other 10% are my cabaret spots, or as I call it, a little audience participation. There are times when we add a touch of Spike Jones.
Now when I say 80% Dixieland, I would not say it is "pure Dixieland". To give an example we play everything from Jelly Roll Morton’s “Black Bottom Stomp"  to  a little Latin jazz "Triste" to "Take Five". The  cabaret stuff -  well, that is me fooling around playing "Amazing Grace" on the tea-pot in 2 octaves, to doing a Louis taake on “What A Wonderful World"  with the Neds Glee Club (audience). "New York, New York" has been renamed "Mong Kok, Mong Kok" which is a notorious area here in Hong Kong. Some other fun routines are the rubber chicken on  12th Street Rag! The audience love it!
Post 1997 saw a dramatic change in the audience mix. Gone are the forces expats - we have a wonderful young Chinese following, who come to enjoy the fun and entertainment. It is a great and fun venue for office and birthday parties and celebrations of all sorts. We still host regulars from the numerous trade shows held here and of course, over the years we have had  visiting musicians and passengers from cruise ships,  US fleet personnel and US 7th fleet band
I would say our audience is a mix of locals, expats and  business people, with an age group from 18 year olds to 70+ year olds.  Neds has hosted some greats like Charlie Barnet, Rosemary Clooney, Matt Monroe, Sergio Mendes, Kenny Ball, Bob Wilber (pictured with Colin), Fred Wesley and in March this year we will have US trombonist Dan Barrett.
Q: You return to the UK on a yearly basis doing a few gigs with the local guys. Do you think you’ll ever return to stay?
A: As time goes by – cue for a song.  Every year on a return I do feel more at home.  They always say that you eventually come back to your roots, and if I was to return it would be to Tyneside. I would of course not be back to play full time. It would be just nice to play and enjoy playing when I want to. I am always deeply touched by the warm welcome that both Jeannie and I receive when we meet up with friends and musicians who have known me since I was a little boy and dad was around.
I have a couple of years to fulfil contracts in Hong Kong,  To think  that when I turned professional in 1976, and in all that time I’ve only been out of work for around one month,. I had to travel and I had to take chances and the gamble has paid off.   It will be a difficult decision to leave Asia. but yes... UK is still on the cards and if I did return, it would be to Geordie Land
Q: Unlike some musicians, you have a deep interest in the history of the music typified by your vast collection of vintage Melody Makers ?
A: What a great music paper that was, and one of my first jobs came from it. So definitely  a strong attachment.  Their reports and coverage of jazz and big bands from the 20's to the 70's  it's all there. I'm at present in the process of posting my collection on line on Flickr.  It's a time consuming task and I often find myself side tracked by wanting to read the many interesting articles that I come across. 
Colin.
(To be continued)

2 comments :

  1. When you come back you can make a start with scanning my collection of M . M and RHYTHM !
    Meanwhile we look forward to July

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John, would love to do that, but it is a big job, and you get so side tracked, but what great musical magazines and papers they were, and most of my jobs as a professional musician came from the MM in those days, yes looking forward to July, and some relaxed blows here and there.

      Delete

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About this blog - contact details.

Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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