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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Strictly Smokin' Big Band - Blowing Up a Storm whilst Blowing in the Wind!


(Review by Lance).
Michael Lamb (md), Kevin Eland,Tom Hill, Joe Taylor (tpts); Michael Ferris, Peter Lavery, John flood, Pez Peres (tmbs); Alan Marshall, Nadiah Killick, (altos); Paul Gowland, Claude Werner (ten); Laurie Rangecroft (bar); Chris Finch (pno.) Pav (gtr); Michael Want (bs); Guy Swinton (dms). Angela Lyons James Hedley (vcl).
When Angela, depping for Steph, sang Too Darn Hot I couldn't help but think that this was the most inappropriate number for today! This was Newcastle in June - not Memphis. Nevertheless she sang it good and for a few brief moments the sun came out and it was at least warm.
The SSBB defied the winds which threatened to sweep the music sheets from the stands off into the unknown to play a couple of great sets. 
Set up beneath the arches of Byker Bridge in the pub smoking area - how appropriate was that?, the opening Night in Tunisia told us that they were up for it. Lady Be Good had a very well executed sax section chorus. The dynamics of this band are spot on and Big Dipper - is that a Jones/Lewis arrangement? - found a nice groove.
Leader Lamb took most of the trumpet solos playing very effectively within his comfort zone.
Paul Gowland is an awesome tenor player but so is Claude (and Alan Marshall who was on alto today) and it would have been good to have heard a little more from Chile's Ambassador For Jazz. My wish is for a Basie/Hampton tenor tear up between Paul and Claude - this would be the musical version of Ali-Frazier.
Angela looked good and sounded good - even Russell commented which tells you that she was something else. Straighten Up and Fly Right,  Slow Boat To China, Time After Time all done well. And of course the duet with James Hedley - I Won't Dance - such a great arrangement.
James did the Rat Pack thing brilliantly - Ain't That a Kick in The Head etc.
However, the instrumental number I enjoyed most was Jan Savitt's 720 in the Books. Never heard it for years - not since Alan Dell left the mortal airwaves - and, although it was, they said, their first public performance of this great number, they played it as well as the prevailing east winds would allow.
A great gig with good beer, company and great music. Get along to the Punchbowl to hear them on the last Thursday in the month - it's warmer in there!
Lance.

2 comments :

Liz said...

Ah! Alan Dell...how we all miss him, Sundays will never be quite the same again on Radio 2. The magic line up being Parky, Benny Green , Alan Dell..later on of course David Jacobs who is still on, but oh so late.I must make mention of Neil Foster who plays some great show tunes on BBC Radio York every sunday eve 7/9pm Enjoyed this review, you are so jazz rich up there
Liz

Russell said...

Chile's Ambassador For Jazz (aka Claude the Great)saved his contribution for the encore - Tito Puente's Oye Coma Va. Werner stood up and played it as only he can. I agree it would be something special to hear Claude and Paul Gowland in a blowing session. Perhaps at the Bridge or Hoochie Coochie.

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