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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Friday, March 09, 2012

SING, SING, SING: SWING, SWING, SWING! The Customs House Big Band with Ruth Lambert. Blaydon Jazz Club – Thursday March 8

Some  aspects  of  the  evening  might  sound  unpromising:  we  went   to   a   jazz-club  taking  two  friends   who   were  “not  into  jazz”;   the car-park   was   full;  the  bar had bottles of Abbot but I was  driving;   the   band  played  lots  of  numbers  I  didn't  know  and  we  got  lost  on  the way back and ended up in Scotswood! Actually, it was a great night out…….
            Blaydon got its 2012 programme off to a cracking start last night as Ruth and the Customs House Big Band wowed a full-house with 22 numbers and an encore (or was it 21 numbers and two encores?)! “Have you seen the time?” asked Peter Morgan (it was 10.50) – “Yes!” we said, as one, “Encore!!”
            The extensive set-list allowed the band to show what they can do on full-throttle (Georgia played by a trio is evocative, played by a big-band it is mind-blowing!) while giving everyone a chance to solo to good effect. Too many to list them all but On Green Dolphin Street included “nice drumming” (Peter Morgan’s words), the saxophones on Whisper Not drew generous applause and (borrowing again) the trumpets hit some “stratospheric notes”.
            And then there was Ruth, whose “spell was cast” with embraceable, irreplaceable lyrics, (‘s)wonderful melodies and a voice that ranges from sweet (Somewhere Over the Rainbow) to rasping and raunchy (Mack the Knife) with all the gradations in between. Great music: great vocals. A heady mix. It may not have been a bar in far Bombay, but the air was pretty rarefied in Blaydon by the end!
            My (self-confessed jazznoramus) musical education continued with some instrument-spotting (I don’t often see bass trombone or soprano sax), some technique-watching (just how many ways ARE there to mute a trombone?) and an introduction to some names and tunes I had not previously heard. Foremost among these was the alliterative Gordon Goodwin and his wacky Hunting Wabbits – a tune and a performance which I will not quickly forget! It is (and the band were) BRILLIANT! I am still smiling nearly 24 hours later!
            So, I enjoyed it all, as did our company including the two “not into jazz”! The scales fell from their eyes after about two numbers: “Is this jazz? But I know this!” and they had to be restrained from joining in, karaoke-style, when Ruth stepped up and started singing! To cap it all, one of them claimed to have “pulled” at the end of the evening! Personally, I’d have been wary of unexpected approaches late at night with the words of Mack the Knife still echoing round. She just said “Champion”!
…….which I would echo in describing the night as a whole. Thanks, Roly, thanks Blaydon – “Champion!”
Photos by Jerry.
Jerry.

5 comments :

Lance said...

Great review Jerry - wish I'd been able to arise from my sick bed to get there!
Question: How many ways to mute a trombone?
Answer: Not enough!

jerry said...

Hmmmm! There speaks a sax-man!!

Russell said...

Great review Jerry. I wish I'd been there but I was at a gig in the Bridge Hotel - too many clashes I reckon.

Russell

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review and nice words Jerry.
The band sure was on great form.
Roly

Kev Eland said...

Yes definitely only 2 volumes on a bass trombone....

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