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Bebop Spoken There

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Budvivar @ The Chilli

Debra Milne (vcl), Stuart Finden, Fiona Littlewood (ten), Dr. Nicola Weaver (bar), Chris Finch (pno), Jim Crinson (bs gtr/gtr), Eric Stutt (dms).
Dave Weisser (tpt/vcl), Barrie Ashcroft (pno), bass and drums as above. Plus Harley Johnson on one number.
Budvivar, with baritone sax Nicola replacing guitarist Eddie Nickson, played a stomping instrumental blues for their opening number tonight with the three 'man' frontline producing a beefy sound that was inversely proportionate to their sylphlike stature - okay so maybe Stuart was marginally less sylphlike than the girls but the sound was good all round as were the solos.
Debra came on and her set included "Beautiful Love", "Love Me or Leave Me" - great sax riff on this one - a lesser known Rodgers & Hart which has suddenly gone off my radar and "My Funny Valentine".
This latter tune had some interesting tempo changes but may have benefitted from richer harmonies from the 'sylphs'.
Stuart was at the top of his game tonight blowing some gutsy solos (also playing bass guitar when Jim went six string) but it has to be said that Nicola and Fiona also did the business. Fiona playing a warm introduction to "There Will Never Be Another You" and Nicola booting the big horn home in her various soli. Chris Finch, Eric Stutt and Jim Crinson kept the horns up to speed as well as having their own moments of glory.
The final "Well You Needn't" had Debra vocalese-ing with the saxes for the out chorus and it worked.
A good set although personally I felt cheated when they didn't do "Hit That Jive Jack" - I'm putting in my request now for the December gig.
Stuart and Fiona stayed on stage for the jam and, after a couple, Harley came on for "Blue Bossa" which saw him keep the ball in the air in his own inimitable manner aided and abetted of course by Eric's call and response drumming.
Earlier Dave sung, among others, "Willow Weep for Me" - a tune I had to admit that, although I knew it well, I didn't know the name of the composer. This turned out to be Ann Ronnell. Ronell, according to Wikopedia, was romantically involved with George Gershwin at the time she wrote this, her most famous song, and speculation, based on the striking similarities in the song to the blues-inflected style of Gershwin, was that Gershwin actually wrote the song and gave her the copyright as a gift (just thought I'd throw that in to make up for my previous lack of knowledge!)
Whether it was Ann or George who wrote it I'm sure they'd have been proud of Dave's version.


shepherdlass said...

Hi Lance:
The lesser-known Rodgers & Hart number Debra sang is "Everything I've Got", which also appears on a 1958 Chris Connor album called "A Jazz Date With Chris Connor" (Atlantic 1286). On it Chris adlibs "I've got the only disc where Oscar flubs a note",a reference to her bassist on the date, Oscar Pettiford. Also featured is British pianist Ralph Shoaron, who later worked as MD to Tony Bennett, along with Al Cohn, Luck Thompson, Eddie Costa, Osie Johnson, et al. A classic album with many under-exposed songs of high quality!
Dave The Rave

Lance said...

Of course! My seniority is creeping up on me. I've actually got Chris Connor doing it on a later date - "The London Connection" with Alan Barnes and Duncan Lamont.
By coincidence her pianist, Robert Kaye, plays Pettiford's "Blues in the Closet" riff behind her vocal.

Debra said...

I can't match you guys for details, but I found the track on a Blossom Dearie compilation dated 1998 that I borrowed from the Lit & Phil. There are also some versions on Spotify - including Chris Connors' - I followed her lead & added a verse of my own.

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