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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 Wednesday May 22

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Julija Jacenaite & Alan Law - Jazz Café, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 261 5618. 2:00pm. Free. Café Mezzanine (first floor, access via crafts shop).

Evening

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £1.00.

Blues

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8:30pm. Free.

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

Friday, March 01, 2019

A Strictly Smokin' Farewell - Feb 28

(Review/photos by Russell)

Some six years on it was 'goodbye' to the Millstone. Yes, the Strictly Smokin' Big Band's monthly open rehearsal night has run its course down on Haddricks Mill Road and in future your regular date with one of the finest big bands around will be at one of Newcastle city centre's very best pubs.

This farewell South Gosforth appearance came hot on the heels of the SSBB's triumphant concert with guest star Mark Nightingale. It would soon become evident that the eighteen-piece big band was still on a collective high. One or two deps were drafted in - Jamie Toms' tenor chair being occupied by Sue Ferris and Dick Stacey's absence from the trumpet section covered by Elliott Todd - otherwise it was the now familiar faces sitting in the sections. 

Home Groan opened the show, the tune the first of several reprising the band's Sage Gateshead concert. Vocalist Alice Grace was on hand to sing Mean to Me and Fascinating Rhythm, the latter featuring Sue Ferris' tenor sax solo. Singer and band were on top form, and, as one seasoned big band fan noted, the SSBB's first rehearsal session following a big concert occasion always seems to find the band at the top of its game - a point well made!


Harold Arlen's Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, Alice Grace singing Let's Do It, this final Millstone session was shaping up to be one of the very best. MD Michael Lamb told us - true or not it's a good story! - that during the band's concert with Mark Nightingale, Keiran Parnaby turned round and said he could do better than that as their virtuoso guest trombonist played Don't Mention the Blues. Well, Lamb said this Parnaby's big chance as they were about to play the number. Much laughter ensued. Did KP look a tad nervous? This was great fun! And it came to pass that KP's Herculean effort gave Nightingale a run for his money and, what's more, the reeds reproduced their fine in-concert performance. 

Film Noir Part 1 resumed hostilities after the break with Keith Robinson's alto feature riding on Guy Swinton's Blakey-like drive. More good work from Swinton, this time with brushes in hand, as Ms Grace produced another knockout version of Mad About the Boy. The band took One Note at a Time one note at a time and, unsurprisingly, got them all in the right order with solos from Pav Jedrzejewski on guitar, Dave Kerridge, tenor, 'bone man Chris Kurji-Smith and ace American trumpeter Pete Tanton. 

You're the Top insisted AG, informing the on-side audience that this would be the Anita O'Day take with the spotlight trained on the 'bones; Parnaby, Kurgi-Smith, Mark Ferris and bass 'bone John Flood. Hard Hearted Hannah sang AG - quite simply it doesn't get any better than this. 

Pav and the rhythm section boys swung it like crazy on Not Just a Date with Laurie Rangecroft the baritone anchor. The Heat of the Moment took flight, nothing could keep the SSBB in check on this one as the ensemble blazed a trail...a trail that was was about to see them leave the Millstone for the last time. How about some Ella/Alice Grace? That Old Black Magic. Perfect. 

Goodbye Millstone, hello Bridge Hotel...stay tuned to BSH for further details.         
Russell

Michael Lamb MD, Pete Tanton, Gordon Marshall, Elliott Todd (trumpets); Mark Ferris, Keiran Parnaby, Chris Kurgi-Smith, John Flood (trombones); Dave Kerridge, Sue Ferris, Steve Summers, Keith Robinson, Laurie Rangecroft (reeds); Pawel Jedrzejewski (guitar), Graham Don (piano); Michael Whent (bass); Guy Swinton (drums); Alice Grace (vocals).

1 comment :

Keith Robinson (on F/b) said...

Thanks Russell for your support, reviews, and enthusiasm over the years. Hopefully, see you down at The Bridge.

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