Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Camila Meza: "Some tonalities or chords are colors to me: G major is blue, D major is orange and B minor is totally yellow." - (DownBeat July 2019)

Archive

Today Saturday June 15

Afternoon

Jazz

Tyne Valley Big Band - Tynedale Beer & Cider Festival, Tynedale Rugby Club, Station Road, Corbridge NE45 5AY. 2:30pm. £12.00. Festival open noon ‘til 11:00pm.

Evening

No Fox Given - Cobalt Studios, Boyd Street, Newcastle NE2 1AP. 7:00pm. £7.00. (£6.00. adv.). Newcastle University tenor saxophonist Sam Fox's quartet plus guests.

Blues/Funk/Soul

Teresa Watson Band - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

More Memories of Bobby Carr by Cormac Loane

Along with saxophonist Nigel Stanger, the trumpeter Bobby Carr was my mentor as a young jazz musician, growing up in Newcastle in the 1970’s. I first got to know him in 1972, playing in the Newcastle Big Band and in the Thursday night jam sessions at the Wheatsheaf in New York (near Whitley Bay), where he joined in happily with enthusiastic amateurs, including myself and the young Gordon Sumner who, at the time, was learning how to play jazz on the bass guitar.
I later did some gigs with Bobby in the Wilf Ray Band at the Mayfair Ballroom. But I got to know him best when we played together in the Bavarian "Oompah Band" at the Hofbrauhaus on Waterloo Street in 1973/74, when I frequently deputized for Graham Sheppard on saxophone and clarinet.
I was 17/18 years old, studying at school for my "A" levels; Bobby would pick me up at home and drop me off again afterwards, but this was often late at night, after we had toured jazz clubs all round the North-East sitting in with the resident bands. Wherever we went, the musicians always welcomed Bobby who, of course, was well-known throughout the area and would fit in effortlessly in any musical situation. I remember one evening we turned up late at night at the Corner House in Whitley Bay where Syd Warren’s Band was performing. As we walked from the car park we could hear the band playing Frank Rosolino’s Blue Daniel, so Bobby got his trumpet out of its case on the pavement, walked into the club already playing, and right through the crowd up to the bandstand, playing a brilliant solo over the top of Syd, who had been in full flight on the saxophone! Bobby was a truly wonderful musician and trumpet player – every phrase he played was perfectly formed and beautifully executed, whether he was playing a slow ballad, an up-tempo bebop number or an Oompah tune in the Hofbrauhaus. His commitment to the music was total, regardless of which style he was playing. Furthermore, he had a completely engaging stage presence, embodying the great jazz tradition, established by Louis Armstrong, of trumpeter/vocalist/entertainer. Although Bobby did not teach, he was tremendously encouraging and supportive of young musicians – he gave me fantastic opportunities as an inexperienced teenage musician and treated me just as an equal, even though I was still learning the craft and he was a fully accomplished professional! In fact, for a short period, he played in my band: in July and August 1974, during the Newcastle Big Band’s summer break, Pete Volpe and I ran a bebop quintet which performed on Sunday lunchtimes, first at the Gosforth Hotel and later at the Newton Park Hotel. The line up was: Pete on trumpet, Brian Fisher on piano, Ian Heslop on bass, Billy Young on drums and myself on alto. But before the end of these sessions Pete had to leave the North-East to go back to college (or maybe it was to his placement in France) so I asked Bobby to take his place which, of course he was delighted to do - what an education it was for me, swapping 4-bar phrases with a musician of his stature! Bobby was well-known for his liking of Newcastle Brown Ale – on the way to the Hofbrauhaus, in his Ford Capri, we would always stop at Victoria Wine to buy several bottles to see him through the evening, in addition to the complementary Stein of Hofbrau lager provided by the establishment. The first bottle would disappear without trace within our first few minutes in the band-room. Bobby had a theory that, on the homeward journey, he would never be stopped by the police because they recognized his car as belonging to a musician, which provided immunity from the law!
Previous post. Cormac Loane.

2 comments :

Lance said...

Thanks Cormac, another chapter from the life of the late Bobby Carr.
A little story of my own relates to Bobby and the police.
The story I heard was that he was parked on Westgate Road somewhere near the Hofbrauhaus and, upon returning to his car - full of Broon no doubt - he found he'd lost the key to the Krooklok that was attached to the steering wheel immobilising the car. Bobby promptly approached a passing policeman and asked him if he could get him a hacksaw!

Jennifer Hamblin said...

Thanks for sharing your stories. Bobby Carr had a daughter. Lizanne Macintosh came to Canada and gave me up for adoption. I did meet some of my biological family and corresponded with Bobby's brother until he had a stroke. I know that Bobby went on to marry a different Liz.

I love to sing. Currently, I sing for a Salvation Army Church. I'd love to create my own web page, CD, and take it up to a next level. It's funny how I never learned any instruments, but I love listening to instrumental, classical, and jazz music. It seems everything came late in life for me. For Bobby, success came early in his life for me. I would be interested in learning more.

Jennifer Hamblin

Blog Archive