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Bebop Spoken There

James Beckworth: "I studied composition but hung out with the jazzers. I was basically the kid who would be at school with my classmates but then go and hang out with the cool kids." - (Jazzwise October 2020).

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11,783 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1023 of them this year alone and, so far, 50 this month (Sept. 17).

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SEPTEMBER

IT IS ADVISABLE TO CHECK IN ADVANCE WITH THE VENUE THAT THE GIG IS ON

THURSDAY 24

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

Maine St Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside Road, Sunniside NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:00pm - 10pm. Free. Note earlier start/finish.

FRIDAY 25

SouLutions Sistas - Hoochie Coochie, Pilgrim St., Newcastle NE1 6SF. Tel: 0191 222 0130. 8:30pm (7:00pm doors). £10.00. SOLD OUT!

SATURDAY 26

Boys of Brass - Tyne Bank Brewery, Walker Road, Newcastle NE6 2AB. Tel: 0191 265 2828. 7:00pm. £10.00. + £1.37 bf for table for two. Other packages available. See www.tynebankbrewery.co.uk.

SUNDAY 27

Vieux Carre Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. Tel: 0191 691 7090. Free.

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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