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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.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Ray Chester Big Band @ Mill View Social Club, Fulwell, Sunderland. March 25th.

Woody Herman's Apple Honey heralded the arrival of Ray Chester's Big Band at Mill View Social Club. 
The first few bars confirmed the gold chip credentials of one of the north east's longest running big bands. 
A programme of George Gershwin and Glenn Miller formed the centrepiece of the evening's entertainment. Gershwin's Nice Work If You Can Get It  and Somebody Loves Me were heard in the first set (vocalist Mia Webb added a touch of class to these tunes and others) as were Miller's Little Brown Jug and Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, the latter with the added vocal attraction of the fabulous Fenner Sisters. 
If you haven't seen and heard this vocal trio (and yes they are sisters) think the Boswells or Andrews Sisters and you will have some idea of just how good they are. 
Henry Mancini's Days of Wine and Roses was a feature for tenor saxophonist John Hudson, Mia Webb sang the mambo Sway and was followed by the Fabulous Fenners who told us that they were Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself (Themselves!) a Letter and then they decided to Straighten Up and Fly Right
The first set concluded with a Ted Heath arrangement of An Ilkley Moor Baht 'at - the band sections being heard to great effect. 
A protracted interval - it was bingo night - allowed for the supping of much Guinness at the bargain price of £2.00.a pint. 
Another Ted Heath arrangement - Gershwin's Strike Up the Band - rallied the troops from the bar for the start of the second set. 
Frim Fram Sauce and Night and Day required the services once more of Mia Webb with Dave Hignett blowing good trumpet on the latter. Mr.Chester announced another Glenn Miller number - St.Louis Blues March - which had not, the bandleader explained, been played by the band for a long time. Jill Brett played some good alto on this one and the section work was top drawer. 
Gershwin's Embraceable You featured Ms.Webb with Keith Norris crafting a beautifully paced trombone solo. Stalwart 'bones man Don Fairley stepped into the spotlight on I Got Rhythm. The tunes came thick and fast - Pennsylvania 6500 (Dave Hignett excelling on trumpet), In the Mood (the Fenners also excelling!), Apple Blossom Time, Charlie Barnet's Skyliner (Chester on trombone) and others. 
A great night of classic big band sounds won an encore and it was Count Basie (or was it Colin Haikney?) who sent us on our way with One O' Clock Jump

The vocalists were plagued by failing radio microphones during the performance - to their credit they didn't miss a beat, professional to the last. The proceeds of the raffle went to St.Benedict's Hospice.



Russell         

1 comment :

Lance said...

All that Glenn Miller Russell?

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