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Friday, May 23, 2008

Jazz At The Fell

Wednesday night's Monk gig at The Sage was going to be a hard, if not impossible act to follow so perhaps it was as well that I opted for total contrast in the form of Mike Piggott and Keith Stephen's Hot Trio. This was gentle jazz à la Django et Stephane. Un vignette dans la tradition du hot club et la dansant.
Mike Piggott fiddled fluently, particularly after he'd added resin to his bow, whilst Keith Stephens on lead and Roly Veitch on rhythm provided the chunky Maccaferrian sound so essential to the idiom. I didn't catch the name of the bass player but he played all the right notes in all the right places and his solos weren't out of character. Roly Veitch sang in his pleasant, laid back, laconic style that did nothing to disturb the sense of period.
The period, 1920s/30s, was also present in Caroline Irwin's delightful vocals; she brought to mind an updated Ruth Etting. Caroline also Autumn Leaved in French. Thankfully, she sounded nothing like Piaf.

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Hello Lance
Thanks for the nice words about Friday. I wasn't sure how you would like the Django stuff. I'm not really a Django type player but got roped in when Keith was asked to organise a Hot Club night as a one off, at The Fell, 3/4 years back. We all enjoyed it and it lead to gigs so here I am still doing it.
The bass player is Bruce Rollo. He is a slap bass specialist (ex Rockabilly) which seems ideal for that style. Bruce also plays with The Wildcats of Kilkenny - a fast & furious Irish Fiddle music type band.
Extrovert bahaviour all round I believe. He is quite a comedian but more important has really good time. I've found I really enjoy playing rhythm with Bruce on bass. After all my years playing I've come to conclusion the bass player is the most important guy in the band! A good bass can make ordinary players play their best. A poor bass can make good players seem ordinary.
You've probably known that for years!
Bruce & Keith have worked together for years on the trad scene - even round Europe a while back with a singer Marilyn Middleton Pollock. Keith is a fine banjo player who also builds Macaferri type guitars.

Lance said...

I recall selling Keith a banjo when I worked in Newcastle's numero uno music shop. I don't know if it was his first banjo; I think it may have been a tenor banjo, it was a long time ago.

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