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Bebop Spoken There

Camila Meza: "Some tonalities or chords are colors to me: G major is blue, D major is orange and B minor is totally yellow." - (DownBeat July 2019)

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Today Monday June 17

Afternoon

Jazz

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Tenement Jazz Band - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:30pm (doors). Free (donations).

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Further Memory of Dave Fox and the Bungalow Jazz Club by Ray Chester.

It's a coincidence that you mentioned Eric Delaney in a previous post because one of my memories of the Bungalow Jazz Club is of him turning up there one night and sitting in with the trio - this at the time when he was leading his big band and a very important musician. I think he had a girl friend who lived on one of the Sunderland housing estates and whom he later married. The word was that he turned up in his big car (Bentley?) which was parked outside the council house where she lived and caused quite a bit of comment!
The Bungalow Jazz Club was on Sunday nights in what was, for the rest of the week, Gilbert Daniels' studio where he taught ballroom dancing. He was nationally known as a teacher and, I think, sometimes acted as a judge on 'Come Dancing'. He used to provide a barrel of beer which was set up in the back room and sold to the customers. This made it the first place I had ever played in where alcohol was available - licensing laws were very much stricter then. My memory is not particularly good but this must have been in the late 50/'60s.
As far as I can remember the first resident trio included Bob and Ronnie Stephenson with Bob on piano and Ronnie on drums. Ronnie was still a teenager, Bob a bit older. Ronnie went on to much greater things - The Johnny Dankworth Big Band, the resident trio at Ronnie Scott's and Sunday Night at the Palladium with Jack Parnell's band. He moved to the continent, first with the Kurt Edelhagen band and finally in a theatre in Berlin with time off to do various jazz gigs. A few years ago he contracted a serious illness and took retirement on grounds of ill health. He and his wife moved to a place in the east of Scotland where he died not long after. Bob went to live near Glasgow a long time ago working as a pianist and arranger for the BBC among others. As far as I know he is still alive and probably working. The last time I saw him was about 15 years ago when he came to Newcastle College, where I was teaching at the time, to act as an outside assessor when the students were doing their final performance.
I took over from Bob at the Bungalow with Derek Dixon on bass and Stan New on drums.
Dave Fox first came to the north east with the Wiley Price Band which took over from Al Flush at the Rink Ballroom in Sunderland not long after it had been taken over by the Rank Organisation. After they had completed their contract they were replaced by Bill Sowerby's band which included Dave on drums and me as 4th Trumpet/Trombone/Arranger. I think he was originally from the Plymouth area but he had moved around quite a bit before arriving in Sunderland. He never intended to stay but lived here for the rest of his life.
Over the years he did a lot of gigs for me in all sorts of bands from the Big Band down to trios and including quite a few pantos at Sunderland Empire. He was an excellent player with a knack of doing the right thing at the right time and I have often remarked that for a lot of the time I forgot he was there because he was so right. Dave also worked a lot on cruise liners.
He was the original drummer with the Emcee Five when they played late night gigs on Saturdays at the jazz club that operated above the old Arcade at the bottom of Pilgrim Street. He was fond of telling me, at great length, about a trip to Italy with them which, as he told it, was a bit of a nightmare. I used to hear a lot of stories from Dave because he never learned to drive and when he played for me I used to be his taxi.
Ray Chester.

2 comments :

Elaine said...

I remember the Bungalow and the fun we had there. Also the Rink on Monday nights.
Eric Delaney's girlfriend / wife was Pat Bergson who was at my school and very young at the time. Nice to read some Sunderland / Shields stories
BTW I really enjoyed the Customs House Ray Chester night last week. Keep up the good work.
Elaine Davidson

Lance said...

The earliest jazz venue I can recall in South Shields was the Wouldhave Café where the Rivermouth Jazzmen led by Fred Rowe played on Sunday nights.
No booze just soft drinks but the excitement of hearing a live band was what started it all.
Later it became the Beach Club and then the Shoreline by which time it was an out and out dive frequented by prostitutes, pimps and pushers...I'm pleased to say (not).

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