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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 Tuesday May 21

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Kamasi Washington - Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4461. 7:30pm. £30.00.

River City Jazzmen w. Maureen Hall - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NN. Tel: 01670 813983. 8:00pm. £5 (raffle inc.) Bob Wade, Gordon Solomon, Keith Stephen, Phil Rutherford, Tommy Graham.

Lindsay Hannon Band - 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.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Glenn Miller Orchestra (Ray McVay, MD) @ Sage Gateshead – Dec 30

(Review by Russell)
Twelve months on from Ray McVay’s last visit to Sage Gateshead, the weather unseasonably mild, the veteran band leader’s troops were as last time round with just two changes in personnel – Keith Hutton joining the trombone section, and vocalist Mark Porter returning to the fold after a number of years fulfilling other engagements. All seats were occupied on Level One (the stalls, in old money), Level Two likewise, resulting in the upper level being open for business. It is seventy-two years and more since Glenn Miller bailed out but the popularity of the American big band swing legend shows no sign of waning.
Strike Up the Band commanded McVay. A String of Pearls, the first appearance of the Swing Time Jivers doing their thing to Flying Home, the Moonlight Serenaders – Catherine Sykes, Mark Porter, Ray Wordsworth, Alan Berlyn and Danny Hammerton – singing I Got A Gal in Kalamazoo, this was a fast moving show. Sykes remained on stage to sing As Time Goes By accompanied by trumpeter Berlyn. The Nearness of You featured Mark Porter with succinct trombone, tenor and trumpet solos accompanying from within the sections.

The band’s collective resumé is truly impressive; concert, stage, radio and television engagements include Frank Sinatra, Nancy Wilson, Humphrey Lyttleton, Alex Welsh, Sarah Vaughan, Mel Tormé and Billy Eckstine…and then there’s Urbie Green and Bill Watrous, Dionne Warwick, Buddy Greco, the list goes on…Art Farmer, Sonny Stitt, Bing Crosby. And some of them have been to college, a shining example being vocalist Catherine Sykes (Leeds College of Music). Yes, these guys know exactly what they’re doing. Band leader Ray McVay lets them get on with it. Nominally conducting the band, McVay the Miller obsessive, listens as much as directs.

Little Brown Jug featured trombone master Ray Wordsworth, Dan Faulkner, tenor, and one of four top notch trumpeters on the gig, Alan Berlyn. Extended solo spots were few and far between. One notable departure showcased Simon Meredith playing soprano on My Funny Valentine. Too much jazz could disturb the foot-tapping crowd, McVay knows his audience, Pennsylvania 6-5000

 kept the Miller fans on side. Catherine Sykes singing Moonglow hit the heights, indeed this, and Sing, Sing, Sing (a drum feature for Bobby Cleall) topped-off this matinee performance at Sage Gateshead.   

Second set, costume change, Miller’s AEF Band. American Patrol heard the trumpet section nail it. Hot Toddy featured the energetic dance troupe the Swing Time Jivers doing their thing alongside, or rather in front of, the band’s excellent ensemble work. More of the same as all and sundry went Runnin’ Wild. McVay introduced a ‘million seller’ tune on more than one occasion; Tuxedo Junction (the Miller clarinet sound so evident), Chattanooga Choo Choo, the inevitable In the Mood, and, as McVay said: Adios. Ray McVay, Glenn Miller, Sage Gateshead…Christmas 2017? Probably!   
Russell.
Ray McVay (MD), Mark Porter (vocals), Catherine Sykes (vocals), Andy Potts (alto saxophone & clarinet), Simon Meredith (alto & soprano saxophones, clarinet), Martin Dunsdon (tenor saxophone), Dan Faulkner (tenor saxophone), Loren Hignell (baritone & alto saxophone), Dave Ford (trumpet), Alan Berlyn (trumpet), Danny Hammerton (trumpet), John Hinch (trumpet), Dale Gibson Jnr (trombone), Ray Wordsworth (trombone & vocals), Keith Hutton (trombone), Bruce Douglas (bass trombone), Bunny Thompson (piano), Paul Scott (double bass) & Bobby Cleall (drums); the Moonlight Serenaders & the Swing Time Jivers.


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