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Bebop Spoken There

Grant Green Jr.: "One thing that most people--especially jazz cats--don't realise is that all of your jazz standards were once pop standards" - DownBeat July 2018).

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Bobby Sanabria: "Tito Puente was not a very tall man, but when he played the timbales he was a giant among men." - DownBeat July 2018).

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Today Tuesday June 19

Afternoon

Classic Swing - The Ship, Front St., Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.

Evening

Jam session - Jazz Café, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. Free. Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger, Matt MacKellar.

Mark Williams Trio - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB. Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

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

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. March 15

(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Roly Veitch & Deirdre Grant).
Blaydon Jazz Club at the Black Bull. The Strictly Smokin’ Big Band strolled into town, suited and booted. Small room, big band. The saxophone section assembled on the floor in front of the small stage. Blaydon regulars filed in looking to claim their usual perch. Instrument cases littered the floor and covered table tops as a sound check took place. One sensed this was going to be something special.
Bandleader Michael Lamb led the way with the first solo of the night on Ol’ Man River. The band’s power almost took the breath away, some were stunned. A sensational start. Depping vocalist Paul Skerritt Let the Good Times Roll; style, presence, timing. Gerry Mulligan’s Red Door and Frankie and Johnny and a Trombone Guy worked as swinging big band tunes.
Veronica Lake (aka Lindsay Hannon) confessed: Alright, Okay You Win. Ms Hannon is a natural big band singer. Skerritt took the floor once more to sing Cheek to Cheek (the all-too-small lounge precluded dancing). I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin hip-hop style worked against expectations as the locked-in rhythm section didn’t miss a hip-hop beat. Moondance had Mr Skerritt ‘working the room’ with an easy charm. First set done (numerous top flight solo spots, superb section work), any concerns about the Strictly Smokin’ in the Black Bull’s small lounge had been swept away. Time for a refill before the second set.
The Buddy Rich big band arrangement of Love for Sale knocked ‘em for six (ace solos from Steve Summers, the depping Graham Hardy and Paul Gowland). The trumpet section – Lamb, Hardy. Gordon Marshall and the gum-chewing Dick Stacey – really nailed the intro on Pianitis (thrilling stuff!). Thad Jones’ Us was the stuff of the Monday night blowing big band (close your eyes and you were in NYC). The Strictly Smokin’s Three Tenors, Messrs Summers, Gowland and Jamie Toms stood up and had a blast on Sax Alley. MD Michael Lamb brought along a challenging chart by Tom Garling – Song for A.E.G. – and the boys in the band did splendidly. Think not so much straight ahead big band fare, more Gil Evans. It was, perhaps, the musical highlight of the evening.
The SSBB has many accomplished soloists in its ranks. All shone, with particularly outstanding contributions from Hardy, Graham Don (keyboards), Guy Swinton (drums) and Jamie Toms. The night was an unqualified success. A return visit to Blaydon Jazz Club by the Strictly Smokin’ Big Band should guarantee a full house. Be there.       
Photos
Russell.         
Michael Lamb (MD), Dick Stacey, Graham Hardy & Gordon Marshall (trumpets), Kieran Parnaby, Mark Ferris, Tom Dowling & John Flood (trombones), Paul Gowland (tenor saxophone), Jamie Toms (tenor saxophone), Steve Summers (tenor, alto & soprano saxophones, clarinet), Keith Robinson (alto saxophone), Laurie Rangecroft (baritone saxophone), Pawel Jedrzejewski (guitar), Graham Don (keyboards), Michael Whent (bass), Guy Swinton (drums), Lindsay Hannon & Paul Skerritt (vocals)

2 comments :

Patti D. said...

Oh, what a night ... and I missed it!! Sounds absolutely fabulous.

Hugh said...

Nice review, Russell - and neatly sums up the evening.

You forgot one thing though, Steve Summers' flute - I certainly saw it, but I'm not sure I heard it!

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Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to them all other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
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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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