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Bebop Spoken There

Marc Myers: " If the original group with Baker was Dover sole, the group with Brookmeyer was beef stew." - (JazzWax, December 7, 2019).

Archive

Today Tuesday December 10

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm - 3:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jam session - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. House trio: Mark Williams, Paul Grainger, Rob Walker.

Tyne Valley Big Band - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB.Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

Blues/Soul/Folk 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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