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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.

Monday, August 09, 2010

The Victory 'V' Jazzmen @ 15th Annual Great Whittington Jazz Picnic. Sunday 8th August.

Ray Shenton (keyboards & vocals), Peter Shenton (electric bass), Gavin Lee (clarinet & alto saxophone), John Cowan (trumpet), Herbie Hudson (trombone, harmonica & vocals), Fred Thompson (drums & vocals), Brian Bennett (banjo), Mark Shenton (guitar & keyboards), Joe Shenton (washboard) & Bessie Whittington (vocals).
The Fifteenth Great Whittington Jazz Picnic was held in the grounds of the village hall on a warm, dry, summer's afternoon. Picnic tables, hampers and umpteen bottles of vino made for a party atmosphere. The Victory V Jazzmen, a hand-picked ensemble featuring several generations of Shentons, started with a breezy Marching Through Georgia. Drummer Fred Thompson sang Shine as the sun broke through the clouds over an idyllic Northumbrian village scene; a simple, functional hall, dry-stone walls and gently rolling landscape stretching to the horizon. Mark Shenton joined the band to play some tasteful blues guitar alongside trumpeter John Cowan on St.James' Infirmary.
Harmonica ace Herbie Hudson blew some on Tishomingo Blues then took the vocal duties on When You're Smiling. All the while there was much brunching and imbibing. The classic Apex Blues was a good 'un and High Society was played as a request. Bessie Whittington was called to the stage to sing House of the Rising Sun. The girl did swell.
The legendary Joe Shenton, 81 years young, joined the band to rattle his washboard on Ace in the Hole with Ray Shenton handling the lyric. Joe stayed on for a storming Coney Island Washboard with Brian Bennett and Peter Shenton holding it together. The first set drew to a close with Fred Thompson prescribing the medicine on Dr Jazz.
The interval meant one thing - more brunching and imbibing. Oh, there was also the raffle, bottles of vino and champagne (Great Whittingtonians do things with style) were offered as prizes (I went home empty handed). The jazz resumed with another winner - Bourbon Street Parade - before Bessie took to the stage once more to reprise House of the Rising Sun. She was every bit as good as first time round. Hoagy Carmichael's Up a Lazy River saw Thompson sing it in his own sweet way as he did with I Get the Blues When It Rains with brilliant clarinetist Gavin Lee proving every bit as adept on alto saxophone. The afternoon concluded with Mama Don't Like No Jazz - another good 'un and in the case of the good people of Great Whittington they certainly did like their jazz.
Bessie Whittington aka Lizzie Scott (aged 6) is a star in the making. All proceeds from the event - approx. £500 - went to Tynedale Hospice at Home.
Russell.

4 comments :

Anonymous said...

Great write up, Russell. It truly was a magnificent day. As you say - LOTS of glasses of wine raised to cheer on the brilliant band, as well as £517.31 raised for Tynedale Hospice at Home.
If you missed young Bessie's performance, you can see her on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mrb9Xnb7_X8
Roll on next year

Bessie's mum x

Ray Shenton said...

I'd just like to say a big THANK YOU to the pages of Bebop spoken here for their publicity in making this the best attended picnic of our 15 years at Great Whittington


Bessie's Grandad

Ann Alex said...

From Ann Alex. I've just listened to this 6 year old jazz singer in the making - great stuff. A sweet voice with the beginnings of a jazz 'Edge' to it, and a good sense of pitch. A pity she's too young to come to the Sage Jazz Singing class!

Ray Shenton said...

I'm sorry I have to tell you of the death of my saxophone/clarinet playing brother Bill Shenton on 10th April in hospital in Carlisle.
Bill was almost 86 and was renowned in the Carlisle area for his jazz. He played with John Cowan and the Lairds of Dixieland, The Gelt River Jazzband,and the Victory V Jazzband as well as his own Bill Shenton Band with his son Peter and his two grandsons on keyboards and drums.
His New Orleans type funeral took place today, April 18th at Carlisle Crem and was a fantastic celebration of his life My daughter Lisa has compiled a tribute to him on her blog www.letyerhairdown.blogspot.com and the Cumberland News are preparing a video for release on their web site shortly
We will be dedicating the proceeds of the Victory V's Great Whittington Jazz Picnic to the Alzheimers Society as a tribute to Bill.
The date of the picnic will be Sunday 7th August but I will confirm this to you later, nearer the time
RIP Bill Shenton

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