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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).


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 Tuesday May 21



Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.


Kamasi Washington - Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4461. 7:30pm. £30.00.

River City Jazzmen w. Maureen Hall - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NN. Tel: 01670 813983. 8:00pm. £5 (raffle inc.) Bob Wade, Gordon Solomon, Keith Stephen, Phil Rutherford, Tommy Graham.

Lindsay Hannon Band - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB.Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

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

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Martin Guy Band w. Sara Dowling @ Spice of Life, Soho - May 1.

Sara Dowling (vocals); Paul Higgs (trumpet); Al Nicholls (tenor); Tim Huskisson (piano); Pete Morgan (bass); Martin Guy (drums).
(Review by Lance)

The last time I was in the basement bar of the Spice of Life they had an upright piano. In the intervening years, they have acquired a grand. When I enquired as to how they got it down there I was told - "In bits!".
Well, by the time of my visit this afternoon, the bits had been very well put together.

Five great musicians and a singer, of whom more shortly, made me wonder why any one - if not all six - hadn't been among the nominations at last night's Jazz FM Awards?

The clientèle was noticeably older than at last night's shindig and hats were at a minimum but the enthusiasm was no less, and why shouldn't it be? This was the real deal.
A Slow Boat to China had an unaccompanied Higgs stating the theme before they were off. Killer solos all round. Higgs reminds me of what Chet Baker might have sounded like if his teacher had been Red Allen. Nicholls brought to mind those tenor titans such as Al Gay, Danny Moss and Tommy Whittle. This was most apparent on Just Friends. Huskisson blew everyone away on piano with leader Guy booting it all along but the most intriguing member of the band was Pete Morgan on what looked like a bass ukulele but sounded like a Fender Jazz - the miracles of this digital age!

I've said it before, the number of first-rate female jazz singers rolling off the conveyor belts is reaching astronomical numbers but, surely, on this afternoon's performance (and her current CD) Sara Dowling must be ranked very close to the top. A performance that was never less than terrific grabbed everyone in the room.

Can't We Be Friends?; Soon; I'm Old Fashioned; Embraceable You (the fleeting moment of silence as she went from the out of tempo verse to the chorus was electric - goosebumps!); You'd be So Nice to Come Home to (muted trumpet blast by Higgs!!!) and it was interval time and the opportunity to chat with Paul Higgs, and to pass on regards from old colleague, Russ Morgan. Paul couldn't believe it when I told him Russ now had a 'short back and sides'! More chat with organiser David Burr who informed me how he'd successfully transferred the old 100 Club Friday lunchtime sessions to The Spice and, finally, a hug from Sara in acknowledgment of my review of her CD - yhis reviewing business does have its perks!

A shorter second set (marginally) but maybe even better! Day in, Day Out; You're Not the Kind; My Foolish Heart - Sara can change maybe just one note and turn the whole tune upside down - just as all the great jazz singers can - Tangerine; Who Cares? and, finally, a crazy version of Honeysuckle Rose - Anita O'Day meets Fats Waller at Minton's!

Quite an afternoon!

1 comment :

Liz said...

Sounded just my kinda gig Lance, excellent review, thanks!

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