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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Gavin Lee with Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Corner House by Russell

Brian Bennett (banjo & vocals), Lawrence McBriarty (trombone), Peter Wright (trumpet), Barry Soulsby (clarinet, alto sax & vocals), Brian Sibbald (double bass), Bill Shaw (drums) & guest Gavin Lee (clarinet & alto sax). The Vieux Carre's regular Monday night session was enhanced by the welcome presence of young clarinetist Gavin Lee and it was Lee who took the first feature on his other instrument - alto saxophone - on a swinging version of JC Higginbotham's ''Give Me Your Telephone Number'.
Defying the rain gods, the band continued with ''April Showers'' - an opportunity for Barry Soulsby to shine with his Al Jolson - like vocals. One of the great New Orleans spirituals ''Just a Closer Walk with Thee'' was played with due reverence and no little authenticity. A Fletcher Henderson number ''Far Away Blues'' followed. The set-closer ''Willie the Weeper '' saw Barry take the vocals. The interval raffle took second place to the legendary Vieux Carre free buffet. It proved to be excellent, indeed the best yet. Compliments to the Corner House staff. The raffle prizes having found homes other than this correspondent's, another pint of Guinness in hand, the second set commenced with the, standing room only, audience singing along to the oft - requested, ''When the Saints Go Marching In ''. Barry Soulsby's alto featured on '' The Girls Go Crazy By The Way I Walk ''. Soulsby was joined by Gavin Lee for a two-clarinet serving of '' Clarinet Marmalade''. The second spiritual of the evening ''Down by the Riverside '' drew good applause as did ''Apex Blues ''. Brian Bennett called time in the traditional manner - telling the audience it should be ''Goin' Home ''.
Russell.

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