Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Terri Lyne Carrington: "We will continue to educate with gender justice and racial justice as guiding principles." - (DownBeat August, 2020)

Teddy Wilson: "Mildred Bailey was a much better singer than Billie [Holiday]." - (DownBeat August, 2020)


The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".


11,733 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 873 of them this year alone and, so far, 10 this month (August 3).

Coming soon ...



Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Crowds Came to The Wake but the Corpse Refused to Die. The Three 'B's @ The Sage

There was a buzz about The Sage tonight that has been missing at more recent jazz concerts. There was a sense of occasion about it and I spotted a few faces that I'd never seen at a jazz gig since say the 1970s at the New Orleans Club.
All three levels of Hall One were near full with the only empty seats being those poor souls snowbound and unable to face the bleak midwinter. This meant nigh on 1700 bums on seats!
First up was the Big Chris Barber Band - all eleven of them. The leader himself did the introductions in his bumbling indecipherable manner that left none of us any the wiser as to who was who! I will do my research. Details here.
As has been the bandleader's wont since King Oliver was a lad they kicked off with a swingy version of Bourbon Street Parade before going into a couple of early Ellington numbers - Rent Party Blues and Jungle Nights in Harlem.
For me this was the highlight of the evening apart from the later piece of early Duke - Merry-Go-Round.
In between we had some six piece trad including Petite Fleur a number associated with Monty Sunshine. I found it strange that Chris didn't mention Monty's death a week ago.
The set finished with all eleven going out firing on The Saints.
Set two brought Acker Bilk and his Paramount Jazz Band to the stage. They kicked off with Memphis Blues and That Da-Da Strain. Acker played in his distinctive full-toned vibrato keeping mainly to the chalumeau register of the clarinet. Stranger on the Shore (naturally) and That's My Home slotted inbetween various stories - some of them quite hilarious like the man and his dog in the desert without food.
He kills the dog and eats the meat until all that's left is the bones. The man says, "Poor Rover would have loved them"!
All in all, it was an enjoyable set with the only regret being that Acker didn't name the sidemen. The trumpet player did look a little like Enrico Tomasso.
I'm on the case.
Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen were a star studded band.
Bobby Worth on drums, Roy Williams, trombone, Hugh Ledigo (piano), long time Ball associate Andy Cooper (clarinet), Bill Coleman (bass) and Peter Woodruff (?) (trumpet). Kenny himself played mainly flugel. Ledigo impressed with his swingy version of Bach's Toccata in D Minor proving what Jacques Loussier, George Shearing and the Swingle Singers had already hinted at years earlier that JSB was possibly the first ever jazzman.
In truth, all three leaders are no longer the master craftsmen they once were yet, despite advancing senility(Joke!), they are still entertainers who can hold an audience and send a full Hall One home with a smile on their face.
We will probably ne'er see their like again.
Earlier, on The Concourse, Years One and Two of the Sage Youth Jazz Course played a set that reminded us that jazz is a living thing and whereas Barber, Bilk and Ball may be riding slowly off into the sunset there is a brand new group of youngsters coming over the horizon who won't be taking prisoners - hear their version of Mister PC .
PS: See comments for personel details.


Gordon Solomon said...

Lance, old chap. The trumpet player with Kenny Ball was Peter Rudeforth from the Chris Barber Band. I'm afraid all those years with the Newcastle Big Band have affected your hearing! Cheers.

Lance said...

Thanks Gordon and you are so right about those years with the Newcastle Big Band affecting my hearing - it came about through sitting in front of the trombone section!

Syd Appleton said...

Hi Lance, I'm Syd Appleton, sound tech for Kenny Ball. Val Clemens Dunmore sent me your write up of last nights gig at the Sage. Just some info for you. Ackers band Has .. Colin Wood on piano, John Day on Bass, Richie Bryant on drums, Ian Bateman on Trombone and indeed Enrico Tomaso on Trumpet. Chris had the band as per his website with the exception of Trevor Whiting on reeds in for Richard Exall. Kenny's band were ravaged with changes last night. He had Peter Rudeforth on second trumpet and due to John Bennett, Ken's trombonist and founder member of the band, being in hospital we had Roy Williams who was brought in at very short notice as our usual trombone dep Ian Bateman was on with Acker. Bobby had the drum seat insted of regular drummer Nick Millward who was also ill. Hope this was of some help and thanks for your kind write up... Syd

Gordon Solomon said...

Nice one Lance! Sorry I missed you at the concert, - as you say there were many faces I hadn't seen for years. It's nice that the old bands can still fill a place like the Sage, - I suspect that last night might be our last chance to see them. Old age sucks!

Blog Archive