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Bebop Spoken There

Avishai Cohen (trumpet): "This is my main thing right now: Live in the here and now, take things one day at a time. I'm stopping everything I can, and stripping everything to the bone. I'm spending a lot of time listening to music, playing, going for walks, enjoying my kids." - (DownBeat June 2020).

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Giants of Jazz @ Roker Park.

Mick Hill (tpt), Don Fairly (tmb), Gavin Lee (clt), Brian Bennett (bjo), Phil Henderson (sousa), George Davidson (dms).
The last time I encountered a band that styled themselves as "The Giants of Jazz" the line-up included Dizzy, Monk, Sonny Stitt & Kai Winding. As all of the above are now dead the only living Giant of Jazz I could think of was Sonny Rollins. My heart went pitter patter and I hurried to the park in Roker, Sunderland.
Alas, when I saw Brian Bennett, I realised that Rollins wouldn't be mounting this bandstand although Sonny Rollins (79 on Monday Sept. 7) with banjo accompaniment does offer some intriguing possibilities.
Speaking with Brian he explained that the term "Giants" referred to the band's expanding waistlines. He explained he was only depping and had had to stuff a pillowcase down his trousers before he was allowed on the stand.
They kicked off with "Alexander's Ragtime Band", followed by "When You're Smiling", "Lazy River", "I Want a Little Girl", "At the Jazz Band Ball" and so on - all good tried and tested standards.
Mick Hill gave a strong lead and soloed with panache. He reminded me at times of Ray Harley, his big strong tone leading them to the promised land. On trombone, Don also played with a more modern approach than is the norm for trad bands.
Clarinetist Gavin Lee is probably the most New Orleansy of the frontline and he weaved in an out of the ensemble with the skill and technique of an Irving Fazola. Gavin also plays at Corner House on this coming Monday night with the Vieux Carré Jazzmen.
Banjo, sousaphone and drums did the necessary and, despite the cold, wet, afternoon it was a good session and, because they were unamplified, there was the added bonus of being spared the pseudo - Satchmo vocals so beloved of British tradsters.
Lance.
The final park gigs of the season takes place at Carlisle Park, Morpeth (or is it Morpeth Park, Carlisle?) next Sunday Sept. 13 when the RIVER CITY JAZZMEN play 2 sets (2:30 pm & 3:45 pm and, on the same afternoon from 1:00 pm CONTRABAND smuggle their brand of smooth jazz into Newbiggin.

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