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Bebop Spoken There

Cécile McLorin Salvant: "She [Melissa Aldana] makes us realise how terrible it is to be complacent." - (DownBeat July 2019)

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Today Thursday June 20

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra - Arc, Dovecot St., Stockton on Tees TS18 1LL. Tel: 01642 525199. 7:00pm. £12.00. + £0.10. bf. ‘Jazz & Tapas’ - booking essential.

Ruth Lambert Quartet - St James' & St Basil's Church, Fenham Hall Drive, Fenham, Newcastle NE4 9EJ. 7:30pm. £8.00.

Heller-Glendinning: Billie Meets Kurt - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm (doors). £6.00. (£3.00. student).

Acoustic Infusion - The Forum, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 363135. 7:30pm. £5.00. Line-up: Alan Thompson (tenor sax); Rick Laughlin (piano); Bruce Rollo (double bass); Ian Halford (drums). Now Abbie Finn on drums.

Durham University Concert Band + Grollingwood Big Band - Durham Town Hall, Market Place, Durham DH1 3NJ. 7:30pm. £10.00., £9.00., £8.00.

Durham University Big Band - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. £6.00. (£5.00 concs.). JNE.

Tees Hot Club w. Gus Smith (vocals); Donna Hewitt (tenor sax), Dave Archbold (keys) - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

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

Monday, June 24, 2013

Ray Chester Tribute Concert @ The Customs House June 23.

Don Fairley, Keith Norris, Caroline Norris, Dave Brock, Alan Bravey (tmb); Mark Webb, Graham Hardy, Dave Hignett, Gordon Marshall, Mick Hill (tpt); Steve Summers, John Hudson (ten); Andy Bennett, Kim Webb (alt); Niall Armstrong (bar); Colin Haikney (pno); James Birkett (gtr); Ray Truscott (bs); Stuart Haikney (dms); MIA WEBB (vcl).
(Review by Lance)
They came to praise Caesar not to bury him - to paraphrase The Bard. Caesar, or rather Ray Chester, was very much alive at the Customs House on this very emotional farewell. The bandleader, composer, arranger, trombonist, pianist, trumpet player, teacher and you name it, was here tonight. Here, in the arrangements he wrote, his compositions, and the band he crafted into an award winning outfit. Two hundred of us listened and applauded the music that was laid down. Musically speaking this was a banquet, no dogs dinner this feast!.
In such a star studded ensemble how can you single out individuals? They all played their part.
None more so than Mia Webb who compéred the show with anecdotes and songs.Mia occasionally struggled to keep a dry eye - didn't we all?
Mia also looked sensational in a couple of black sparkly sequined gowns.
Colin Haikney played a blinder on piano and ensured the band picked up the cues.
The trombones - OMG what a task! Ray's trombone stood forlornly, yet shining like a beacon, at the front of the stage. Don Fairley (with the band since its inception in 1966) bravely faced up to the task of taking Ray's place. Ray would have been proud of him maybe saying to the angel Gabriel who was also digging the gig - "Of course he's good after 40 odd years it had to rub off on somebody!"
Keith Norris also had a few moments and all five played a lovely version of My Foolish Heart.
The saxes were on fire - Steve Summers and John Hudson blew great tenor - a score draw. Steve is a doctor. I wish he were my doctor:
"Doctor I'm having trouble with my embouchure. I've been taking Rico number 3s. Do you think I should try Van Doren 2s?"
"I'm giving you a prescription that you must stick to - long notes, arpeggios and Sonny Rollins transcriptions to be taken daily for at least two hours."
Andy Bennett on alto cruised through the parts and blew soprano, flute and clarinet. Niall Armstrong, as ever, the anchor man on baritone and bass clarinet had a Carney-like feature on Naomi - composed by Ray and dedicated to his granddaughter. Mia's daughter Kim didn't solo but played her part(s) in helping the saxes achieve such a full, balanced sound.
The trumpets! The Powerhouse Five - Hardy and Hignett, Mick Hill, Gordon Marshall and Mark Webb - the sky's the limit!
From where I sat down front I couldn't see James Birkett but, fortunately, he could be heard. Truscott on bass and Stuart Haikney on drums - along with Haikney pere on piano gave us a rhythm section to savour.
Too many numbers to list or even highlight however, it would be unfair not to mention Mia's version - á la Lee - of  The Folks Who Live on the Hill. Sung beautifully with the reeds doubling on flute, clarinets and bass clarinet to catch the authenticity of the original - mint!
Sadly this was the last concert ever by the band with the pad being donated to Sage Gateshead where, hopefully, it will be available for reference and to advance the career and development of the next Ray Chester - it may take a while...
Ray's family must be very proud of their dad and we are thankful to them for making a wonderful evening possible. Proceeds from the concert are being donated to St. Benedict's Hospice in Sunderland.
Photos.
Lance.

1 comment :

Ian Chester said...

Many thanks for that wonderful tribute Lance - it's much appreciated.

Kind Regards

Ian Chester

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