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Bebop Spoken There

Lionel Loueke: "A mistake is just for the moment - make it the best mistake it can be, and that's it" - (JazzTimes, April 2019).

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Today Friday April 26

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - The Black Bull, Frosterley DL3 2SL. Tel: 01388 527784. Coach trip dep Tyneside 10:30am. Tickets: £15.00. Info: 0191 252 9429.

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front St., Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free.

Noel Dennis Trio - Bishop Auckland Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. Tel: 03000 269 524. 1:00pm. £5.00.

The City Trio - Stack, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6QE. Tel: 0191 216 1415. 5:00-7:00pm. Free. Alice Grace, Jennifer Davies, Ben Helm.

Evening.

Swing Bridge - Scott's, Forum Cinema, Market Place, Hexham NE46 1XF. Tel: 01434 601144. 6:20-7:15pm. Free. Gig in the cafe.

James Birkett & Emma Fisk - The Old Low Light, Clifford's Fort, North Shields Fish Quay NE30 1JA. Tel: 0191 257 4506. 7:00pm. £10.00. Advance booking required.

Baghdaddies - Ponteland Beer Festival, Ponteland Leisure Centre, Callerton Lane, Ponteland NE20 9EG. Baghdaddies 7:15pm (doors 6:00pm). £12.00.

Pepperland - Theatre Royal, Grey Street, Newcastle NE1 6BR. Tel: 08448 112121. 7:30pm. £19.00. Mark Morris Dance Group's 50th anniversary celebration of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. MD Ethan Iverson leads seven-piece NYC band. First night of two.

The Ronnie Scott’s Story: 60th Anniversary Concert - Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. 8:00pm. £27.70. & £18.50. Support set by Jambone on concourse (7:00pm).

Sue Ferris Quintet - Traveller’s Rest, West Auckland Road, Cockerton, Darlington DL3 9ER. Tel: 01325 468177. 8:00pm (doors 7:30pm). £8.00. Note new, earlier start time.

Blues/Soul/Funk

45 Spread - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

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

Friday, April 27, 2018

SSBB back to business @ The Millstone - April 26

(Review by Russell). 
Following Sunday’s fantastic Alice in Wonderland gig at Hoochie Coochie it was back to business at the Millstone. The Strictly Smokin’ Big Band’s monthly public rehearsal night took its usual form of running through a few charts (playing one of them twice) and, during a short interval, running to the bar to refill a glass. Three deps in and one short in the trumpet section, it was definitely a case of back to business.

Not Just a Date (comp Ole Frimer) sang Alice Grace with a rare baritone saxophone solo by Laurie Rangecroft, and our superstar vocalist, heard to great effect this evening (the PA, for once, helping not hindering the band’s vocalists), stayed on her feet to sing Jeepers Creepers accompanied by a fired-up Graham Don. Mr D had forgotten his sustain pedal and his sterling efforts impressed fellow bandmates…praise indeed!

F’reez was in the building. Back from wherever our man got down to business singing two numbers either side of an instrumental arrangement of Beautiful Love…take one. Being a rehearsal night the idea of a second take isn’t that unusual. This first run through featured the trombone of Mark Ferris. F’reez’s second number – Oasis’ Wonderwall – closed the first set. Many big bands play the chart-topping number and the SSBB isn’t any different.
Second set, Beautiful Love take two. And at its conclusion MD Michael Lamb declared this second effort to be ‘marginally better.’ MDs can be hard taskmasters! Sunday’s show-stopper, well, one of many, got another airing as Alice Grace sang Mean to Me with Paul Gowland chipping in on tenor. Hearing it again for the second time in five days made the trip to the Millstone worth the effort, and, to top it, Graham Don and Alice Grace held the audience spellbound with a magnificent opening to Lush Life, the band poised, Jamie Toms’ tenor solo the icing on the cake. The band’s reeds section is one of soloists – the tenors of Gowland and Toms, and the altos and flutes of Steve Summers and Keith Robinson with the former, Summers, adding clarinet to an arresting arrangement of Caravan.
Oh, mustn’t forget the occasional ‘bottom end’ contributions of Mr L Rangecroft.

It Had to be You sang F’reez. The Strictly Smokin’ Big Band’s rehearsal night was all but done. All except Stan Kenton’s arrangement of Harold Arlen’s Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. At its conclusion, the depleted trumpet section – Pete Tanton cried off late in the day – hit the high Cs. The obvious conclusion was that the depping Alastair Lord hit the heights, but no, MD Lamb was at pains to point out that the credit should go to Billy Bradshaw. Duly noted.

Michael Lamb thanked all for coming along on the evening, thanked the three top class deps, and, in an unintentionally comic moment, thanked trombonist Keiran Parnaby for driving all the way from Cardiff. The band, unimpressed, quick as a flash, as one, said: He doesn’t live there, you know!  
Russell.     
Strictly Smokin’ Big Band: Michael Lamb MD, Billy Bradshaw, Alastair Lord trumpets; Mark Ferris, Keiran Parnaby, Chris Gray, John Flood trombones; Jamie Toms, Paul Gowland, Steve Summers, Keith Robinson, Laurie Rangecroft reeds; Pawel Jedrzejewski guitar; Graham Don piano; Michael Whent bass; Guy Swinton drums; Alice Grace, F’reez vocals

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