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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Gavin Lee’s Dixieland Band @ The New Inn, Durham. March 18

Gavin Lee (clarinet & tenor saxophone), Alf Langthorne (keyboards), Tom Darbyshire (double bass) & Jimmy ‘Stix’ Robinson (drums) + June Francis (vocals)
(Review by Russell)
The New Inn, in the heart of Durham City, drew a crowd of Durham University’s Bright Young Things to watch Chelsea v Drogba in the Champions’ League on big screen tvs and to sit and drink beer, chat and remain oblivious to the jazz band in the corner. Gavin Lee’s Dixieland Band set up with a minimum of fuss, covering, then pushing the pool table to one side – a familiar tale of the well-appointed jazz venue!
A sprightly Lady Be Good followed by When Mabel Comes in the Room (from the Broadway hit Mack and Mabel) warmed-up Lee’s liquorice stick ahead of Fats Waller’s Stealin’ Apples. The clarinettist remarked that Peanuts Hucko regularly played the tune, adding: Peanuts wasn’t his real name… it was Cashew. So, we got humour in addition to some hot clarinet! Vocalist June Francis got up to sing the first of several numbers – Bei Mir Bist du Schoen or as Lee quipped: If you don’t understand Yiddish that was ‘My Beard Needs a Shave’. Francis stayed on for a bossa version of This Masquerade. The first set flew by and drew to a close Basie-style Swingin’ the Blues.
Another pint of Taylor’s Landlord (rarely seen on the bar these days, yet this was the second sighting in three days of the legendary brew, the first being at the Bridge Hotel, Newcastle) and a chat with Gavin Lee about all things jazz made for an enjoyable interval.
Second set, football forgotten, Herbert ‘Happy’ Lawson’s Anytime led to Moonlight in Shotton Colliery, Herman’s Woodchopper’s Ball and with the return of June Francis, Lee switched effectively to tenor on Blue Moon, a breezy Blue Skies and an excellent take on A Weaver of Dreams.
The evening’s entertainment ranged far and wide from any Dixieland strictures; The Purple Rose of Cairo (Lee clarinet), the rhythm section – Alf Langthorne (piano), Tom Darbyshire (double bass) and ‘Stix’ Robinson (drums) – played it rumba on Night and Day and the Van Heusen/Burke classic Here’s That Rainy Day heard Francis and once more the tenor of Lee. Good beer, good crack, good jazz. Get along to the New Inn, nine o’clock Tuesdays.       
Russell.                     

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