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Bebop Spoken There

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Friday, April 27, 2012

New Century Ragtime Orchestra - Jazz @ The Fell @ The Legion.


Steve Andrews (mc); Alan Marshall (alt/clt); Jim McBriarty (clt/alt/bar/sop/vcl); Tom Cook (cor); Caroline Irwin (cor/vcl); Ed Cross (vln); Don Fairley (tmb); Neville Hartley (pno); Keith Stephen (gtr/bjo); Phil Rutherford (sousa); Steve Doyle (dms).
(Review by Lance).
Quite a delightful evening at "The Fell @ The Legion".
With the NCRO the unusual is often the usual. Just how they come across and acquire orchestrations for so many obscure tunes amazes me. Don't, however, confuse obscure with mediocre because pieces such as Louisiana Bobo and She's a Gorgeous Thing deserve to be heard over and over again.
A thought occurred to me during The Varsity Drag that the band could change its name without changing the music stands - They could become the New California Ramblers Orchestra. So much of their output is reminiscent of that 1920's equivalent of the Johnny Taws/George Rowell orchestras (local reference only older readers will recognise). Dave Kerr informed me that all the best stuff was in the second half which meant I had to miss it rather than miss the 54 bus.
Nevertheless, what I did hear was perfect for the idiom with Caroline hitting the spot on Let's Do It, Am I Blue and, My Baby Just Cares For Me. Jimmy McBriarty - the "boy singer" shone on Gonna Get a Girl, Sweet Jennie Lee and the aforementioned Varsity Drag and She's a Gorgeous Thing.
Instrumentally, East St. Louis Toodle-oo, Thriller Rag and Too Bad wasn't too bad at all - it was, in fact the latter item was one of the relatively rare numbers that allowed several "Hot Choruses".
I'm sure this all changed in the next set when m.c. Steve unpacked his tenor and put away his joke book.
However, the bus beckoned so I may never know.
Seriously, a lovely band that should have had them queuing round the block. In January, at Gateshead Old Town Hall, the room - a much bigger room - was packed. Tonight, admission was £3 cheaper, drinks were cheaper and it was a more relaxed atmosphere and yet fewer turned out.
People eh?
Lance.

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