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Bebop Spoken There

Piers Paul Read: "Bruce Reynolds and Biggs shared an interest in Sex, Jazz and Hemingway." - (The Train Robbers by Piers Paul Read, Coronet Books 1979.)

George Shearing: "Speaking about Johann Sebastian Bach I think he'd be a real jazzer if he were alive today. I mean any man who has two wives, twenty kids, gets kicked out of the church for being too harmonically radical and drinks beer can't be all wrong can he?" - (Crescendo March 1984.)

Submissions for review

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 all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance

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Today Thursday July 19

Afternoon

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Maine St. Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Holywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. 8:30pm. Free.

Alexys de Alfaro: Guitar Dreams with Coco Vega - Prohibition Bar, Arch 3, Brandling Street, Gateshead NE8 2BA. Doors 7:00pm. A ‘jar on the bar’ gig. Guitar & percussion.

Alter Ego - St James’ & St Basil’s Church, Fenham Hall Drive, Newcastle NE4 9EJ. 7:30pm. £10.00.

Jesse Bannister Quartet - Jazz Café, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. £10.00. (£8.00. concs.). JNE.

Northern Monkey Brass Band - Jubilee Park, Spennymoor DL16. 6:00-9:00pm. Free. Big BRASS Bash (Durham Brass Festival).

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm.

Tees Hot Club w. Donna Hewitt (alto); Josh Bentham (tenor); Dave Archbaid (keys) - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 9pm. Free.

Jazz Jam - Fire Station, High Street West, Sunderland SR1 3DT. Tel: 0191 594 7241. 8pm. Free.

Billy's Buskers: Plug in and Play - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 7:00pm. Free.

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

Monday, October 16, 2017

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band with Joe Stilgoe @ Hoochie Coochie - October 15

Joe Stilgoe piano & vocals w. Strictly Smokin' Big Band.*
(Review by Russell)
The Strictly Smokin’ Big Band at Hoochie Coochie is a guarantee of top quality entertainment. Add a ‘big name’ guest to the event and you’ve got the makings of a memorable occasion. This Sunday afternoon gig - doors four o’clock, band on stage five thirty - attracted a large crowd, many of whom know a good thing when they hear it. Michael Lamb’s dynamic big band knocks spots off most with its ensemble work, the sections packed with accomplished soloists and the cherry on the top in the form of vocalists Alice Grace and F’reez. The bonus on this gig? Due to the standard of the Strictly Smokin’ Big Band’s musicianship, it was possible to secure the services of a musician of the calibre of Mr Joe Stilgoe.
Lounge suits the order of the day, the Strictly Smokin’ roared into action with Mexicali Nose. Buddy Rich’s Big Swing Face album continues to provide rich pickings (no pun intended) for the big bands of today and the guys in the SSBB helped themselves. Vocalist F’reez turned up the heat on Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley’s Things Are Getting Better with MD Michael Lamb leading from the front.
Vocalist Ms Alice Grace took to the stage in a shimmering evening gown to open with Honeysuckle Rose. The fabulous Ms Grace scatted like never before as the band went into overdrive. Absolutely brilliant! Adding Maroon 5’s Sunday Morning to the pad could be considered to be a masterstroke. Grace’s voice dovetailed perfectly with drummer Guy Swinton’s sensitive brushwork and a Michael Lamb trumpet solo topped it off.

The SSBB’s saxophone section stood up to play in unison on a regular feature for F’reez – I’m Just a Shy Guy – with American ex-pat trumpeter Pete Tanton in the solo spotlight. Full marks all round. Hoochie Coochie’s Sunday crowd is of the sociable kind, out to have a good time, cocktails shaken then stirred, to be savoured, but they know when they’re hearing something special and to hear the fabulous Alice Grace sing Lush Life  was one of those moments when all present held a collective breath; the flutes of Keith Robinson and Laurie Rangecroft, Jamie Toms’ considered tenor solo, the sensitive piano accompaniment of Graham Don – a truly a magical moment.

F’reez returned to show us he was That Kind of Guy with David Barnes’ trombone solo over a New Orleans’ snare drum rhythm of which Dr John would approve. On Purple Porpoise Parkway (comp. Tom Kubis) closed out the first set (the first of three) with the band on a vamp, the tenor saxophone of Paul Gowland making itself heard, then being joined by Steve Summers’ soprano saxophone for a good-natured joust before being taken home by bass ’bone man John Flood.

I’m dudin’ up my shirt front sang the main man. The ‘main man’ being Mr Joe Stilgoe. Irving Berlin, Fred and Ginger, Top Hat…who could ask for anything more? Joe Stilgoe sat at the second of two Nord keyboards telling an adoring crowd that we were Puttin’ on the Ritz name-checking as he was doing so not Gary Cooper but Bradley Cooper and finding time to reference a Kardashian. Yes, an impressive opening to Joe Stilgoe’s first (and the SSBB’s second) set of the afternoon! Stilgoe did what many artists have a habit of doing…making last-minute changes to an agreed running order! This didn’t phase the SSBB one bit. Stilgoe featured several tunes from New Songs for Old Souls. The pianist-singer’s easy-going manner connected with an on-side crowd. How to Fall in Love had a familiar ring to it. A companion with ears sang Goody, Goody. Yes, Johnny Mercer’s lyrics would fit alright!  The band shared the limelight with Stilgoe on Rainbows in My Tea Cup. Yes, Stilgoe the composer featured but so too Kieran Parnaby (trombone), Steve Summers playing soprano and an in harmony reeds section which, on this number only, included Matthew Forster on bass clarinet. It can be reported that Matt has recently returned to Tyneside having made his living elsewhere for a good few years. Matt – bass clarinet and tenor saxophone – will prove an excellent addition to the local scene. Stilgoe came up with a killer piano intro to Nothing’s Changed with a finger-snapping crowd for accompaniment. This second set whizzed by, a third would soon be upon us.           
       
Hoochie Coochie was buzzing, Warren on the tanned and lovely Ipanema decks. A ‘hello’ to all and sundry, the joint was busy. On a day like this where else would a jazz fan want to be? The Hoochie Coochie bar staff were on the ball, beers efficiently dispensed across a bar top canopy of cocktails.

Set three, two or three cocktails later, the dancers were enticed onto the floor. Stilgoe and the band hit the ground running on I Like This One and kept up the momentum on Nobody Cares Like Me, a further cut from New Songs for Old Souls. The composer was perfectly content to hear the boys in the band make a contribution to this and other numbers; Keith Robinson and Laurie Rangecroft on flutes and Steve Summers and Jamie Toms wielding liquorice sticks. Callum Au’s arrangement for big band of Jeepers Creepers featured the patient Graham Don. Mr D played a blinder prompting a clearly impressed Stilgoe to declare: I don’t know why I’ve been booked for this gig! Stilgoe’s Roll stirred up an exotic funky gumbo featuring Stilgoe, piano, brief solos from across the band and it’s hats off to the trumpet section for nailing it (as they did all night) – Messrs Lamb, Tanton, Tom Hill and Dick Stacey.

Stilgoe sang Cole Porter’s In the Still of the Night accompanying himself at the piano. The silence was remarkable. It was a couple of hours and several cocktails into the gig and had anyone been so clumsy as to drop the proverbial pin it would have been a crashing interruption. A highlight, no question about it. The Hoochie Coochie audience wanted more. Stilgoe sang Sunny and everyone went home happy. Mark it down as another Strictly Smokin’ Hoochie Coochie winner.
Russell
*Strictly Smokin’ Big Band: Michael Lamb MD, Pete Tanton, Tom Hill, Dick Stacey trumpets; David Barnes, Kieran Parnaby, John Flood, Mark Ferris, trombones; Jamie Toms, Paul Gowland, Keith Robinson, Steve Summers, Laurie Rangecroft, Matthew Forster  saxophones; Pawel Jedrzejewski guitar; Graham Don keyboards; Michael Whent bass; Guy Swinton drums; Alice Grace vocals; F’reez vocals

1 comment :

Chris Riley said...

Absolutely brilliant gig. JoeStilgoe was a revelation to me and the band as always was outstanding

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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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