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Bebop Spoken There

Jackie McLean: “I can't understand British audiences. In Britain there doesn't seem to be any curiosity." (Melody Maker, April 1, 1961).

Charles Mingus: "It seems to me that if our records were not issued in Britain, the British cats would have to think for themselves" (Jazz News, July 26th 1961)

Archives.

Today Thursday July 27

Afternoon
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., nr. Newcastle NE27 0DA. 1:oopm. Free.
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Tyne Valley Jazzmen - No 1 Champagne Bar, 1 Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL4 7 NJ 12:30pm. Free.
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Evening.
Strictly Smokin' Big Band - The Millstone, Haddricks Mill Rd., South Gosforth NE3 3DB. 7pm. Cancelled for pub refurbishment. Back August 31.
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Alter Ego - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm. £5.
Jo Harrop & Paul Edis - The Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm
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Maine Street Jazzmen - Potter's Wheel, Sunniside NE16 5EE, 8:30pm. Free.
Ray Johnson & Richard Herdman - Prohibition Bar, Arch 3, Brandling St., Gateshead NE2 2BA. 8pm. Free.
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Paul Skerritt Band - The Pennyweight, Bakehouse Hill, Darlington DL1 5QA. 9pm. Free.
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Tees Hot Club w. Kevin Eland (tpt); Donna Hewitt (alto); Graham Thompson (keys); Mark Hawkins (drums) - Dormans, Oxford Rd., Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Free. 9pm.
Pocket Jazz Orchestra "Jazz & Tapas" - No 60, Arc, Dovecote St., Stockton TS18 1LL 7pm. £10.
New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton TS18 4AW. 8:30pm.01642 678129.
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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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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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