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Bebop Spoken There

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Born This Day
Louis Armstrong and Steve Andrews.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Savannah Jazz Band @ The Customs House, South Shields. August 25.

John Meehan (dms); Bill Smith (cor/vcl/hca); Roger Myerscough (clt/alt/vcl); Brian Ellis (tmb/pno); Bill Lawrence (bs); Chris Marney (bjo/vcl).
(Review by Lance).
This was like walking back in time and encountering the ghosts of the Panama Jazzmen, the Rivermouth Jazzmen, the River City Jazzmen, Clem Avery, Hughie Aitchison's Cellarmen and various reincarnations of the Vieux Carré Jazzmen - the latest of which had been playing that very afternoon but a couple of miles away across the river (as the seagull flies).
The silver haired audience showed their appreciation of the silver haired stomping Savannahs, applauding solos and laughing at the jokes.
Yes, it brought back memories of the Rivermouth Jazzmen playing at the Wouldhave Café (later the Shoreline Club) on the sea front. Under age drinking in the Sea Hotel then cups of tea listening to the youthful Fred Rowe on cornet and afterwards - well that's another story...a story I'm sure many of last night's audience could also relate to as the band from across The Pennines re-kindled the flame with jazz classicss such as Panama, Canal St. Blues, Walk Through the Streets of the City, and a host of others including Chris Barber's old warhorse, Ice Cream, (The Big Chris Barber Band are at Customs House on Thursday). They even finished up with Goin' Home - a number those of the audience who'd tunnelled or ferried their way south may have already heard in the afternoon!
Smith, Myerscough and Marney took care of the vocal chores with Smith telling us that The Girls Go Crazy 'Bout the Way he Walks, Myerscough was Blue Turning Grey and Marney extolled the virtues of The Glory of Love. But for me, the highlight was Smith singing and blowing blues harp on Stormy Monday with Ellis switching to piano and Myerscough wailing on alto.
Leader Meehan impressed with his solo on Panama and dep bass Lawrence hit all the right notes in all the right places.
It was an enjoyable evening provided by six masters of the idiom.
Lance.

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