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Thursday 6: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Curtis Stigers @ The Sage, Gateshead.

Curtis Stigers (vcl/ten), Scrapper Sneider (tpt), Mathew Fries (pno), Cliff Schmidtt (bs), Keith Hall (dms).
This was a well attended gig. The Sage wasn't sold out but there were enough punters to fill the average jazz club for six months maybe a year.
Having said that, it wasn't a jazz audience - it was a middle class, 30 +, crowd with not quite enough '12 o' clocktails' under the belt to totally stray from their comfort zone. As a friend remarked, "When they don't clap after a sizzling solo (from trumpet player Sneider) you know it's not a jazz crowd.
Nevertheless, let's accentuate the positive side of things.
It was an enjoyable evening. Stigers didn't blow much tenor but his voice always has a jazzy tinge to it and the final "Wee Small Hours of the Morning" was a worthy addition to the rota of fine singers who have sang the Dave Mann/Bob Hilliard classic - it's also on his latest album.
The opener, "The Beatles' "I Feel Fine" had moments verging on the edge of hard bop with Scrapper Sneider blowing some telling Clifford Brown inspired phrases. On piano, Mathew also 'fried'.
Perhaps the best number was a Tom Waits ballad - the title of which escapes me - Curtis really got inside this one.
"My Funny Valentine", one of the few standards, was marred by an irritating drum rhythm early on but built up to such a fantastic climax that all was forgiven!
Bob Dylan, Annie Lennox, John Lennon, Joe Jackson were all represented in Stigers' choice of songs and whilst it may not have been jazz for the purist there was enough hovering around the edges to send all but the mosted bigoted fan home happy.
Love to hear him and the band in a club.
Only regret is that he didn't lay "Going Back To Joe's" on us.
Oh yes - one other regret - car park charges! Plenty material there for singing the blues.
Lance.

1 comment :

Liz said...

Hmm, well sounds as though it was a better bet than the Albert Hall performance, but to be fair that was never going to show him in the best light. I know what you mean when there is no recognition of a solo, you feel you want to applaud all on your own, and in fact I/we always do, it stirs the pilgrims!!Seems like "Wee small hours" is doing the rounds with the great & the good. It features on Barbra Streisand's latest album " Love is the answer" lovely number, and she does it beautifully..but then she can do no wrong in my eyes!
Liz

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