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Bebop Spoken There

George Shearing: "Speaking about Johann Sebastian Bach I think he'd be a real jazzer if he were alive today. I mean any man who has two wives, twenty kids, gets kicked out of the church for being too harmonically radical and drinks beer can't be all wrong can he?" - (Crescendo March 1984.)

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Today Thursday December 12

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 12:00pm. Free.

Note earlier time for this week only!

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Evening

Jazz

Hot Club du Nord - Lubetkin Theatre, East Durham College, Willerby Drive, Peterlee SR8 2RN. Tel: 0191 518 2000. 7:00pm. £10.00. (£5.00. under 18s). 'Jazz at the Lubetkin'.

Gala Big Band - Gala Theatre & Cinema, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. Tel: 03000 266 600. 7:30pm. £10.00. (£8.00. concs.). ‘Gala Big Band Does Christmas’.

Durham University Big Band - Dunelm House, New Elvet, Durham DH1 3AN. Tel: 0191 334 1777. Free. 7:30pm. ‘Jazzy Christmas’.

Indigo Jazz Voices - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.00. (£2.00. student).

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

Tees Hot Club w. Gus Smith (vocals); Dave Stansfield (tenor sax); Ted Pearce (keys) - Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

Blues/Soul/Funk/Etc.

?????

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

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

T.J. Johnson Band @ Boston Spa. Sat. March 10.

T J Johnson -  vocal/piano; Al Nichols tenor sax, Jay Darwish bass, Jack Cotterill drums, Tony Pitt guitar/banjo
Not the usual "jazz only" repertoire likely from this band, we were told to expect jazz, blues, soul, country and gospel..........wow, did they deliver!
One look at the musicians regularly playing with TJ and sell out shows at Ronnie Scott's showed his standing, tonight was sure no exception, four very talented guys joining him to give an outstanding performance that had the hall rocking ........
BB King's Never Make Your Move Too Soon was a great opener, then the tempo slowed with Sinatra's Come Fly With Me. Swannee River next, with Al Nichols showing what a fine sax player he is. Willie Nelson's Somebody Pick Up My Pieces, TJ using that oh so mellow voice on the slow numbers. Dylan's I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight was followed by swing number Lester Leaps In with solo spots all round.  Hoagy’s Georgia on my Mind, Prodigo (?), then a  blues - Night Life. The set finished with the gospel classic I’ll Fly Away.
We held our breath and waited to see if the guys could keep this up No - they improved on it!
Opening up with a spot of country in On The Road Again, then upbeat to Ain't Misbehavin’, and the classic blues Night Train featuring a solo from Al Nichols on tenor. Another mellow track next, Willie Nelson's Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground - not heard that track for some time - beautiful.
They Can’t Take That Away From Me was followed by a Dr John number If I Don’t Do It Somebody Else Will, then Sweet Sue with more great sax playing. Back to gospel, a lovely Lily of the Valley with Tony switching to banjo. Running Wild, then another Wllie Nelson classic Drinking Champagne and, all too soon, into the final number Let The Good Times Roll.
Superb playing from all five musicians drew a deserved ovation at the close........T J himself blends keyboard and vocals with ease, my particular favourites being the "slower" tracks. Al Nichols has his own "Blue Harlem" band based in London and wowed us all with his solo work. Tony Pitt showed his class all night with that unique guitar style of his, you can see why he is highly thought of. And of course ably backed up by Jay on bass & Jack on drums, already playing with established star musicians these guys will continue to thrive.
If you have not yet ventured down the A1 to "Jazz in the Spa", then you are missing a treat. This is a great club, welcoming friends with a regular Saturday night slot showcasing marvelous musicians ...what are you waiting for ....details at  www.jazzinthespa.co.uk
Ray Robson.

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