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Born This Day
Louis Armstrong and Steve Andrews.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Jon Taylor and Jim Birkett Jump Start Blaydon.

Jon Taylor (ten/flt/harm/vcl), Jim Birkett (gtr), Jeremy McMurray (pno), Andy Champion (bs), Bill Shield (dms).
Good, honest, straight down the middle swing from Leeds based Jon Taylor. From the opening "Zing Went The Strings of my Heart" to the penultimate "Cheek to Cheek" Jon Taylor dug in and swung out on tenor, flute. and blues harp.
His sax playing relates to the tough tenor school of Ike Quebec, Arnett Cobb or Budd Johnson whilst his fluting had overtones of Roland Kirk. Amazingly this was the first time I'd heard him and I was impressed.
"Autumn Leaves" jumped! They didn't 'drift by my window' they jumped and how. Jon indulged himself (and us) with some growly overblowing flute that turned the French chanson almost into a Chicago blues!
The blues theme predominated in "I'm Just a Lucky So and So" with gravelly vocal and wailing blues harp.
Not to be outdone, Jim Birkett 'Bent it like B.B (King)' and the result was some classic blues playing.
Jim was on form throughout as, as always, was Andy Champion. On piano Jeremy gave it 'what for' with the inscrutable Bill Shield rock steady.
"Harlem Nocturne' - a request from the lovely lady on the next table to us - was played à la Bostic (Earl). Unfamiliarity perhaps slightly hampered this one for 'the boys' but Jon drove it home like as though he was on a King record date.
No such hesitation with two former waltzes played in four. "Charade" and "Tenderly" saw sparkling solos all round. This was bootiful playing - stompology at its best.
The encore - another request - "Moonlight in Vermont". Jon remarked on how requests are always for ballads and it's true - most people can relate to a ballad more than an up-tempo swinger.
The band tonight did both brilliantly with our local boys mixing it on the same level as Jon which is a very high level indeed.
Come back soon.
Lance.

1 comment :

Jon said...

Great site!
Thanks for the lovely review- much appreciated.I enjoyed the gig-typically good North East audience.
I'll keep an eye on the site and be in touch soon.
Jon

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