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Bebop Spoken There

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ray Chester Big Band @ The Corner House.

Graham Hardy, Mick Hill, Dave Hignett, Alec Lewis, Tim Rhodes (tpts). Don Fairley, Eric Strodl, Alan Bravey, Dave Brock (tmb). Ray Dales, Kim Webb (alt), Steve Summers, Alan Marshall (ten), Niall Armstrong (bar). Colin Haikney (pno), Pete Stuart (bs), Stu Haikney (dms). Mia Webb (vcl), Ray Chester (ldr).
A big band within the confinemes of the Corner House is a daunting prospect. A 5-4-5-3 formation playing Herman/Kenton charts is enough to make the management of the newly refurbished building wonder if, like the Walls of Jericho, the place will come a 'tumbling down.
Needless to say the walls didn't crumble and one does wonder about the legend although if Dave Hignett had been blowing lead on the Jericho gig then the fantasy becomes feasible.
Ray's band drew a good crowd who paid their respects to the local bandleader who has been plying his craft for nigh on 60 years!
Woody's Applehoney, Stan's Intermission Riff. Woody's Opus de Funk, Stan's Painted Rhythm, Woody's Greasy Sack Blues were just some of the old warhorses that were faithfully reproduced. In particular, the sumptuous But Beautiful stood out - rich and mellow with harmonies as deep as they come.
Dr. Steve Summers and Alan Marshall blew superb tenor whilst Ray Dales had some impressive moments on alto.
Graham Hardy is on a roll these days soloing with the same aplomb as he did last Sunday with Zoe and, no doubt, did at Paul's apres funeral jam this afternoon. Don Fairley took care of the trombone solos and the rhythm section kept things swinging.
Mia Webb was featured in the June Christy role and did indeed share some of that famous singers vocal traits.
A good gig that was appreciated by all.


Roly said...

Highlight for me was that lush arrangement of 'But Beautiful' - gorgeous! Also was reminded of what a wonderful song 'You go to my head' is - surely one of the finest of all the great Gasbook repertoire.
Grand evening.

Liz said...

So agree Roly. Just finished a remarkable book passed on by Lance "Easy to Remember" by one William Zinsser. This covers the great American songwriters & their songs.It is encyclopedic in it's nature, covering all the greats and the way in which they fashioned their words & music. He has an amazing grasp on the public's expectations on what pleases, and towards the end touches on a subject close to my heart re. the later shows eg ALW. He says that these musicals are a whole new breed, high tech spectacles that rely for their appeal on size & special effects. Historically people went to the musical theatre for language as much as music, words & ideas. Today they want visual dazzle and a lot of sound.

Russell said...

Hi Lance

I can but echo Roly's comments.


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