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Bebop Spoken There

Lou Donaldson: "(On Art Blakey) Everything changed. Especially when the women came in, sat down in the front row, and raised their skirts above their knees. Then the drums got louder, the tempos got faster, and every tune was a drum solo" - (JazzTimes, November 2019.)

Archive

Today Saturday December 14

Afternoon

Jazz

Anth Purdy - Isabella Community Centre, Ogle Drive, Blyth NE24 5JF. Tel: 01670 543773. 11:00am-1:00pm. Free. Christmas Fair.

Jazz Attack - Sage Gateshead, St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. 3:30pm. Free (concourse). Young Musicians Live! YMP Winter Festival.

Jambone - Sage Gateshead, St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. 4:00pm. Free but ticketed (Sage Two). Young Musicians Live! YMP Winter Festival.

Evening

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regents Farm Road, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 284 3700. 8:00pm. £12.00. + bf. Second night of two.

Sold Out!

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Blues/Funk/Soul

Loft Boys - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

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

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Customs House Big Band w. Ruth Lambert @ Customs House, South Shields. Friday Oct. 5.

Peter Morgan (MD/Bs tmb.) Dave Hignett, Toby Donnelly, Alan Smith, Gordon Marshall (tpts); Gareth Weaver, Chris Kurji-Smith, Keiron Parnaby (tmb); Jill Brett, Elaine Francis, Alan Marshall, Amber Reeve, Chris Kaberry (reeds); Bill Brittain (pno); Alan Smith (bs); Roy Willis (gtr); Barry Black (dms); Ruth Lambert (vcl).
(Review by Lance). 
What better gig is there when the bandleader gives you the names of the band and a neatly typed set list with spaces for comments before they even start!
CHBB leader and raconteur Peter Morgan did just that which makes life easier for us reviewers.
It wasn't a full house - how could it be when you had another big band playing about a mile across town? Nevertheless, it was well enough attended to be comfortable and there were several familiar faces in the audience.
That old perennial arrangement of Buddy Rich's - Love For Sale - got the show on the road with solos from Jill Brett (new hairstyle?), Alan Marshall - who isn't called Hastings - (no hairstyle) and Toby Donnelly (band newcomer/dep?) This talented triumvirate provided the bulk of the solo work although trombonists Kurji-Smith and Parnaby also slid into the limelight from time to time.
Bill Brittain did the Basie bit on The Kid From Red Bank, Ruth Lambert gave us Blue Moon and she was S'Wonderful sounding and looking good in what, from a distance, looked like a slinky black, brown and beige gown.
Nestico's Freckle Face, Woody's Apple Honey swung like a well-oiled machine before Ruth returned for a Black Coffee before Flying to the Moon.
The set finished with a most unusual Take The A Train as played by Doc Severinsen on the Tonight Show.
Great arrangement and brilliantly played.
The second set began with a calypso from the Maynard Ferguson pad - Coconut Champagne. Dave Hignett did the stratospheric trumpet work. A dancy You Make Me Feel So Young preceded Ruth's return. This time in a silver lamé gown that may have been painted on - it certainly gave me Fever as well as Getting a Kick Out You Ruth. Earlier the diva had sung God Bless the Child and Come Fly With Me. Jill's alto brought in It Might as Well be Spring and the band had fun with Mike Gilby's Monkeysuckle Rose
MD Peter introduced Gordon Goodwin's arrangement of Sing, Sing, Sing - retitled Sing, Sang, Sung. Peter explained that it was based on the Goodman classic from the 1938 Carnegie Hall concert with Barry Black doing the Krupa bit and Alan Smith playing Harry James. Imagine my amazement when a lady sitting in the row behind called out "What about the Jess Stacy piano solo?" A woman in South Shields - Jess Stacy piano solo - I almost asked her to marry me! The lady in question? - Olive Puncheon. Pleased to have met you Olive.
It was a great arrangement with the soloists duly shining. Ruth returned for Mack the Knife and then it was all over but we certainly enjoyed ourselves. Great band with the rhythm section of Willis and Smith providing the essential underpinning, along with Brittain and Black, to make things Swing, Swing, Swing.
The Customs House Big Band can be heard at Darlington next Sunday (Oct 14), Gateshead Legion next Friday (Oct 19) and at Cleadon (Dec 4). Peter could you email me more details of this latter gig?
More photos.
Lance.

2 comments :

AM said...

Who is this Alan Hastings?

Lance said...

Sorry Alan (Marshall) I'll get it right eventually.