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Bebop Spoken There

Aubrey Logan: "I chose trombone because trombone just kicks my ass, and I needed to do something that was hard" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Friday May 24

Afternoon

Jazz

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free.

Giles Strong Trio - Bishop Auckland Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. Tel: 03000 269 524. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Evening.

Blues/Soul/Funk

Dave Kelly & Christine Collister - Gala Theatre & Cinema, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA . Tel: 03000 266 600. 8:00pm. £18.00.

The Hookahs - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

Groove-a-matics - Lindisfarne Club, West St., Wallsend NE28 8LG. Tel: 0191 262 4258. 9:00pm.

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

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Road to Hong Kong with Colin Aitchison - Part One.

(Interviewed by Lance - pictured right))
Q: Colin, we go back a long way, the Newcastle Big Band and, of course, I also worked , for many years in the music store with your dad, Hughie. Would you like to tell readers of Bebop Spoken Here about your early days?
A: My earliest memories start from the time that I was taken round to various venues by my Dad and Mum. I was in a push chair. All I do recall is some vague bits and pieces, I do remember the New Orleans Jazz Club on Melbourne Street, I remember my dad playing with Joe Young and his mainstream band. and various other ensembles with Sheila Giles. I recall that Joe used to pay us quite a few visits at home, as did Ronnie Young whom my dad gave trumpet lessons to.  I have memories of Alan Price as  both of them were at the Swan Hunters shipyard;  and Alan used to sit in with dad at the New Orleans Jazz Club. As I said, vague and disconnected memories at this age.
I really started to get interested in jazz between the age of 14 -16 when I started junk shopping for 78 rpm records. Sometimes Frank Wappat used to take me around!
I was thrilled when Dad used to sneak me into The New Orleans Jazz Club at Forth Banks. It was here where I had my first try at playing Black and Blue. It was after Ronnie McLean and the All Stars had finished their last number. John Pearce who was on piano encouraged me to get my dad's trumpet and have a go! But I will never forget my biggest first moment on stage!  Dad had been standing in for Joe Errington with the River City Jazzmen at Newbiggin Hall, and we had been practicing Black and Blue for quite a bit at home. When I was called up to play with the band I  was terrified!  My God !! There seemed to be a thousand eyes looking at me and judging me. I managed the first 16 bars and then broke down - shaking legs, dry lips, no sound. What a case of stage fright. It seemed like the end of the world. I was so embarrassed and felt that I had let my Dad down.  Dad took me back to the band room, calmed me down and we played it again perfectly in the privacy of the band room.
I also remember a session dad did with the Ronnie McLean All Stars for Frank Wappat at his mission hall in Byker, and Nat Gonella & Bobby Thompson being present, and some where there are recordings of the session, I know I did play one song, but again very nervous, I hate to think what I sounded like.
Dad also knew Alan Brown well as they played together back in the 1950's with Stan Wilde & The Wild Cats & The Bernicia Jazz Band  (Dad's Band). Alan used to always get me a pass back stage at the City Hall through his connection with local jazz people, to meet the greats at the City Hall in Newcastle. It was a shame that I was still a little too young to fully grasp and appreciate all this wonderful talent.  To this day I still have all the autographs - Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Woody Herman, Oscar Peterson to name a few. I treasure them..
(To be continued...)
Colin Aitchison (Bandleader)
China Coast Jazzmen
Ned Kelly's Last Stand
Hong Kong.

2 comments :

Lance said...

Colin, your comments about Windows music shop reminds me that, back in those days the jazz record section was the local equivalent of the Commodore Music Store in New York or Dobell's in London. It was a place to hang out - the rockers had a similar set up in the pop record dept. next door. I recall McLean telling an inspiring Buddy Holly that you didn't talk about 'bookings' but that 'gig' was the word. The next time he came in he said to Ronnie "I've got a gig tonight"!

CCJAZZMEN said...

Those days as a kid going to Windows were great, and when you look back how many famous personalities always paid a visit to jazz record department, I even remember jazz guitarist Barney Kessel dropping by, and a host of others, I agree you were the Commodore Music Store of the North East, very hard to find something like that anymore, Widows certainly has an era of history in it's own right.
Colin,

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