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Thursday 20: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Rendezvous Jazz @ The Piper, Cullercoats. October 2nd

Maureen Hall (vocals), Iain MacAulay (trombone, trumpet & vocals), Brian Chester (trombone), Mac Smith (keyboards), John Robinson (double bass) & Jim McKeown (drums) + Doris Fenn (banjolele), Teresa Armstrong (vocals), Roy Gibson (keyboards) & John (vocals)
First Saturday in the month can mean only one thing - a rendezvous with Maureen Hall and the Boys down at the coast.
Maureen was a bit concerned that the band would be without both clarinet and trumpet (Barry Soulsby was indisposed and Alan Smith has gone into retirement). Well, she need not have worried. Announcing that a late dep meant a two trombone frontline, I for one, was delighted. All the more delighted when in walked Brian Chester hot foot from the West Jesmond Rhythm Kings' afternoon gig way down south in Darlington.
Chester and MacAulay, two of the north east's finest trombone players, have contrasting styles and this was a great opportunity to hear them at length over the course of the evening.
Rosetta, taken as an instrumental, got things under way. In my head I could hear Hall (and Jimmy Rushing) singing the lyric. I did then hear Maureen herself as she sang Somebody Loves Me and Iain MacAulay sang CC Rider.
Tunes were drawn from the Deep South, as one would expect, yet the set list also drew on the GAS Book. Rodgers and Hart's Blue Moon and Gershwin's Summertime were expertly handled by Hall. MacAulay can play trumpet when called upon and his vocal rendition of another Gershwin classic - Lady Be Good - was just about as GG intended!
The Gas Book was delved into again for Teresa Armstrong's interval spot. Accompanied by pianist Roy Gibson and Jim McKeown she wowed the audience, as always, with Cole Porter's C'est Magnifique the highlight.
The great Doris Fenn sat in on the second set and if you can comp on the banjolele then she comped damn good! The tunes came thick and fast - Sweet Georgia Brown, You're Nobody's Sweetheart Now (Hall belting it out!), an instrumental Autumn Leaves (at a slightly faster tempo than usual) with MacAulay singing and contributing effective trumpet and I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate.
Spirituals are seldom heard. I love them. Maureen Hall excels on such material. She sang Take My Hand, Precious Lord.
Great stuff.
A most enjoyable gig with trombonists Big Jim Robinson and Kid Ory...sorry, I mean, Brian Chester and Iain MacAulay, for once almost stealing the show from bandleader Hall with an excellent two-'bone version of Shine.
The Piper next calls the Rendezvous Jazz tune on Saturday 6th November (8:30 pm). If you can't wait that long then catch the band's weekly (Friday) lunchtime session down at the Porthole (next to North Shield's Ferry landing).
Russell.

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