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Bebop Spoken There

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Thursday 6: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Interview with Anne DeVere


Anne, did you have a musical background?
My parents were both musical--father pianist, mother singer--they played in Concert parties in the 1930's.
Who were your early favourites?
My first inspiration was butterscotch Ella Fitzgerald, then came Carmen McRae and Peggy Lee.
Do you recall your first gigs?
First gig was at the Rex Hotel Whitley Bay with a Big Band but within a few weeks I got the gig at La Dolce Vita with the Bob Stephenson Quintet 7 nights per week.
There must be many things that stand out from those days...
Highlight was going to a party with Count Basie, Sarah Vaughan, and having a long chat with Eric Dixon, tenor player in Basie band.
Any others?
2 Trips to New York, great Jazz at the Blue Note and uptown Smoke.
Was kissed by Toots Theilemans and chatted to Benny Golson at Smoke. Have loads of pics but they are framed!
Favourite discs?
Always more into Jazz quintets and spent my pocket money at Windows buying 'Blue Note' and Esquire pressings e.g Oliver Nelson, Lee Morgan, Shelly Manne at the Black Hawk and fell overboard for Vic Feldman.
What did you do after La Dolce Vita?
I worked semi pro with a few dance outfits. Once did a gig with violin, accordion, and drums YIKE!! and got the Job at The Mayfair Ballroom with Wilf Ray's Band.
You did however, also do many gigs with Bill alongside some very well known names.
I have done, with Bill over the last 20 years, we worked with the great British heroes-----------Alan Barnes, Roy Williams, Bruce Adams, Warren Vaché (American), the lovely Tommy Whittle and Janusz Carmello - Ok that's enough name dropping!!
How do you see yourself?
I am regarded as a singer but my knowledge of instrumental jazz and personnel  even surprised Bill, my husband. I could pick out bass players on Albums I had never heard before -- (my party piece). I am a friend of Spike Heatley here in France and we swap CDs. We have the same warped sense of humour. 
Do you work in France?
Not doing anything just now but have worked here at various venues including the Jazz Fest at Chateauneuf-du Faou where Bruce Adams sometimes plays.
Dislikes?
I hate 'fire at the zoo 'jazz'. 
The future?
Not sure about MY future never mind the jazz scene but will keep on truckin' till the end!!
Thanks Anne - Perhaps now that Roly's back at the Black Bull we may see you and Bill at Blaydon sometime?
Who knows?  
Lance.

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