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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, July 09, 2010

Whitley Bay International Jazz Festival Day One - Evening

Hot Antic Jazz Band (France)
Bohém Ragtime Jazz Band (Hungary)
Bent Persson's New York Orchestra (International)
Les Roi du Fox-Trot (pictured - France)
That this festival should be in its final year is really sad. 150 musicians from 10 countries is not bad going for an event held in a hotel on an industrial estate in Shiremoor. Add 500 plus punters from all over the world and the enormity of it begins to sink in.
The fact that many of the names meant little to me means nothing - if anything it added to the oft quoted 'Sound of Surprise'.
This was never more evident than the delights I found myself discovering in the Hungarian Bohém Ragtime Jazz band. This is a band comprising of 2 violinists one of whom, apart from being the leader, Tamas Ittzés, also sings and plays piano. Tamas sung and swung on piano and vocalised like Buddy Greco on Don't Get Around Much Any More. Trumpet player Lebanov József played with drive and technique whilst trombonist, Korb Atilla, had a lovely smooth Teagarden, Urbie Green sound - he was okay on flugel and cornet too!
Space precludes elaboration; suffice to say their versatility on different instruments, singing, dancing and comedy bordering on slapstick, made this the most entertaining set of the night.
Musically, what I most wanted to catch was Bent Persson's Red Allen Tribute. Well I did but, after dalliance, I was a latecomer and only just squeezed in behind an ever opening door.
Despite the brilliant resuscitation of the Allen/Luis Russell classics - and they were superb - I left Kelly's Stables for the more spatial Cotton Club. That's right all four jazz rooms are named after famous venues from days of yore - the others being the Sunset Café and the One-Cent Club.
In the Cotton Club Les Rois du Fox-Trot were strutting their stuff and drawing a few couples to the dance floor.
Another full house and another good band whose infectious pre-swing style soon had a hold of the listeners and the dancers.
Earlier, The Hot Antic Jazz Band had opened the evening session in Kelly's with an entertaining set that was full of Gallic charm. I loved the way they handled My Gal Sal - 3/4 introduction, rhapsodic verse then stomping chorus and idiomatic solos.
Too soon it was time for me to leave and fathom out my route home which I did - eventually!
Lance

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