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Sunday, November 06, 2011

Don Fairley and the Friends of Jazz - Ashington Jazz Club Nov. 3

Seventy Six Trombones led the big parade with 100 cornets close behind.This wasn't quite what we got at our Club meeting but we did get our own MUSIC MAN Don Fairley with one trombone and the popular group Friends of Jazz.
The Combo included  Mick Hill (Trumpet and Flugel Horn), Gavin Lee (Soprano and Tenor Sax, clarinet), Bill Britain (Keyboard), Bill Colledge (Electric Bass Guitar), Laurie Brown (Drums) and Mia Webb (Vocals) who introduced a comprehensive and full progamme of 21 Classic Swing selections. The arrangements and quality of presentation were superb as the musicians moved with ease and confidence between the instrumental solos. The front line created a vibrant and exciting Big Band sound while the gentleman of the rhythm section supported with drive and enthusiasm as they drove the music forward. All were outstanding and considering the smallness of the group they embraced the music of the Swing Era with great skill and gave us a performance of which Goodman, Miller, Ellington, Dorsey, Basie and all those who gave birth to Swing  would have been proud. 
Mia introduced the programme throughout the evening while contributing to thirteen lyrics herself so all members were extremely diligent in their embrace of the music they so obviously enjoy. Our good audience responded enthusiastically and often vocally as each piece came to an end. Members liked what they heard and the band appreciated the applause and animated reactions to each performance.

There are some very good Jazz Groups in the North East, each with their own accomplished styles but F of J
must be commended for the Big Band Jazz they bring to the region. This has to be the smallest but the best Big Band sound and I recommend it to you. We loved it.  
I realised that the music of choice actually told a story which is not an original observation. 
Here are some of the numbers but not necessarily in the order as played.Hard Hearted Hannah sat at a table. I said Hello  Dolly what ya doin'. Shakin' the Blues away Way down yonder in New Orleans the Joint was Jumping with the Dixieland One Step. There she replied. But I ain't misbehavin'. I like your Silk Stockings I said and asked if Love was for SaleShe replied It All Depends on You. Don't be mean to me. Just Squeeze Me. It was D'lovely in a Mellow Tone. It Had to be You tonight but Please Don't talk about me when I'm Gone With that I left the Joint with C Jam Blues ringing in my ears.  (Some but not all of the melodies)    
Peter S

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