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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Rendezvous Jazz @ The Black Horse, Monkseaton. March 13

 Maureen Hall (vocals), Gavin Lee (soprano saxophone), Don Fairley (trombone), Roy Gibson (keyboards), Jim McKeown (drums) + Chris Hodgkins (trumpet), Teresa Armstrong (vocals) & Joan Armstrong (vocals)
(Review by Russell)
Vocalist Maureen Hall has maintained a Friday lunchtime session for several years down at the coast. The Black Horse in Monkseaton (currently to let to an enterprising publican) is one of those venues where the management let the musicians get on with it.
Hall has an enviable frontline working with her; veteran trombonist Don Fairley and Shotton Colliery reeds’ virtuoso Gavin Lee. As ever, one or two sitters-in were hoping to get the call and a national ‘name’ from the jazz world turned up looking to have a blow. Rendezvous Jazz’ Dixie-plus repertoire entertained the regulars and the pool sharks in the adjoining bar didn’t seem to mind the background music as they knocked the ball around the table. When You and I Were Young, Maggie kicked-off and Hall sang Ace in the Hole with the all-seated frontline. Come to think about it, the whole band adopted a sedentary  position as is the tradition at Preservation Hall (Maureen Hall has had the great honour of singing at the tourists’ home of N’Awlins jazz). Black and Blue was just so, followed by a bout of hilarity as Blue Skies was announced as ‘tempting providence’ with the hard-of- hearing Roy Gibson thinking the ‘provi’ was being discussed!
Drummer Jim McKeown brushed effectively on There Will Never Be Another You and a favourite of Hall’s – Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans – found favour with the audience. Second set (raffle prizes proved elusive), bandleader Hall welcomed trumpeter Chris Hodgkins to the stand (carpet) to play a few tunes. The former supremo of Jazz Services proved his worth on Struttin’ With Some Barbecue  
Russell.                                                                                                      

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