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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Rae Brothers New Orleans Jazz Band – 'Jazz @ the Fell @ The Legion Christmas Party – December 20

 Paul Bacon dms, John Robinson bass, Dave Rae bjo, Jim Blenkin tbn, Liz Bacon clt plus guests Peter Wright tpt and Ian Wynne pno.
(Review by Roly Veitch)
A lovely session of pure New Orleans jazz was served up for the faithful regulars, along with the traditional sumptuous Christmas buffet, making for a most enjoyable and convivial evening. This just one of literally hundreds of concerts that have been staged by the Fell jazz club since it was all begun by the late drummer Ray Brown back in 1994. When Ray tragically passed away in 2000 the running of the club was taken on by enthusiasts Ron and Joyce Pollard who have, with great determination and devotion, kept the club going since then, such that it reaches its 20th anniversary in 2014. That will be 20 years of weekly sessions – somewhere around 1000 concerts. They deserve a medal!
This evening Rae Brothers, great favourites at the club, delivered their own rather special brand of egoless, pure ensemble style New Orleans jazz – as always played with such a lovely gentle, subtle, authentic feel and delightful, foot tapping rhythm. Its not by luck that this band are hugely popular at clubs and festivals all over the UK and beyond. A great selection of tunes – Carolina Moon, Walking with the King, Put on Your Old Grey Bonnet, Bye and Bye, Moonlight Bay, Ma, She's Making Eyes at me, Sugar Blues, In the Highways, Shake it and Break it, St Louis Blues and more.
A few years back a young pianist became a protégée of the band. Ian Wynne has gone on to study music completing his degree at Birmingham and now working for a masters at Manchester. He is indeed a young master of early jazz piano styles – ragtime, boogie woogie, blues, stride. Tonight the band gave him a 20 minute solo feature. The audience were enraptured by his performance of Dr John's Song for Mother, Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag and the waltz Bethena, Professor Longhair's Tipitina (with vocal) and an Albert Ammons boogie woogie. All immaculately played.
The band finished the evening with a rousing Ice Cream and Winter Wonderland (one of several nice vocals by Dave this evening) sending everyone home happy and in the Christmas spirit.
Thanks from all of us to Ron and Joyce for all their hard work and dedication.
Roly.

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