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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.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Colin Aitchison and the China Coast Jazzmen. Sunday 11th October.

Normally known as the Ned Kelly’s Big Band, this approx. 14 piece band has been meeting here under the idiosyncratic direction of ex-Geordie Colin Aitchison for longer than even he would like to recall. But it’s as fresh and as much fun as it’s ever been, with an array of truly exceptional musicians from across the Hong Kong area, lined up in traditional Big Band format. Not only do the numbers trigger memories of the sins and sensations of youth for oldies, but they clearly resonate strongly with youngsters too, as demo’d by a couple of Aussie girls dancing on the benches and some impromptu modern dance on the tiny strip of floor boards in front of the band, which somehow manages to accommodate the larger than life Colin casting his magic spell over this great band.
Guest artists appear from time to time, all happy to expose themselves on the front line of battle with the massed troops of this eccentric body of musicians behind them, and tonight was no different with the hugely talented Phil Whelan dusting off his old clarinet and mixing it with the best. He acquitted himself more than honourably and earned a huge round of applause, which persuaded him to join the ranks and carry on playing for the rest of the gig.
After an evening of visits to the 40s and 50s the final set comprised a terrific Glenn Miller homage and the band excelled itself in its delivery of so many well loved numbers. It was humbling to think just what a talent that man possessed. He’d have loved this band; it’s just so infectiously joyous!
I can’t wait till the next gig. Don’t miss it on Sunday 8th November at 6.00pm.
Photos (They follow the Tim Garland set.)
Mark Monument

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