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Bebop Spoken There

Branford Marsalis: "You talk to the old guys about it [52nd St.], and they say the music part was great. Every other aspect of it [pay, hours, conditions] sucked" - (DownBeat, May 2019).


Today Sunday April 21



Vieux Carré Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. Free.


Beefy La Slap - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 3:00pm. Free.

Alex Fawcett Band - Tyne Bar, Maling St., Newcastle NE6 1LP. Tel: 0191 265 2550. 4:00pm. Free



East Coast Jazz - Exchange, Howard Street, North Shields NE30 1SE. Tel: 0191 258 4111. 6:00pm. Free. Monthly jam session.

Swing Manouche - Black Bull, Bridge St., Blaydon NE21 4JJ. Tel: 0191 414 2846. 7:30pm. £7.00. Blaydon Jazz Club. Note new, regular start time.


Sour Mash Trio - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

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

Monday, February 25, 2019

Musicians Unlimited @ Dormans Jazz Club, Middlesbrough - February 21

(Review by Ron H.)
The first of this year's "Guest Big Band Nights" featured the award-winning band from Hartlepool led by saxophonist Mick Donnelly.

Playing to a full house, the band began with a nice arrangement of the classic Ja-Da, followed by I Get a Kick Out of You with Paul Skerritt's lively style and fine voice. The Latin rhythm of Orilla Del Mar was perfectly set up on congas by Ernie Jackson and beautifully played by the band and an excellent solo from Sue Ferris on tenor sax.

A beautiful vocal from Jan SpencelayhMy Heart Belongs To Daddy - preceded a swinging version of High Maintenance (great solos from Mark Toomey alto, Bill Watson trumpet and Lady? on baritone sax). Paul sang the ever-popular Georgia on my Mind followed by a new number for the band Sister Sadie that included a nice bass solo from Adrian Beadnell.

Jan returned to sing The Very Thought of You, over a lovely big band arrangement. Sonny Rollins’ Doxy included a fine trombone solo from Neville Hartley. Paul sang Witchcraft before the first half was brought to a close with the Doc Severinsen arrangement of the old Basie signature tune One O' Clock Jump.

 The second set kicked off with one of my favourite blues - Things Ain’t What They Used to Be which had a nice guitar solo from Ian Bosworth and tenor from Sue Ferris.

Further numbers included The Best Is Yet to Come, with vocal by PaulClam Chowder and Jan remembering Billie Holiday with her own excellent version That Ole Devil Called Love. 

Mick Donnelly did the intro to Sentimental Journey, on soprano sax and then swapped to tenor for a tremendous up-tempo solo that delighted the crowd.

Other numbers were My Baby Just Cares for me, Paul vocal, the Sammy Nestico arrangement of Jersey Bounce, I Don't Know WhyJan vocal, and When The Saints Go Marching in, with great solos from Josh Bentham tenor and Bill Watson trumpet.

An up-tempo Misty, finished the second set in style with Paul's vocal and Sue's great sax playing hitting the spot. The audience demanded an encore - and got it - so the night ended with a rousing Sweet Georgia Brown.

This was a most memorable night of big band music at its best played to an enthusiastic audience. Many thanks go to the great musicians in the band (sorry I didn't get all the names) and to Mick for his leadership and amusing comments.

Thanks also to Tony White for looking after the sound system and to Dormans Club for their support with the Jazz Club.
Ron H.

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