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Bebop Spoken There

Brian Carrick: "I contacted Max Jones of Melody Maker and offered to be his correspondent in the States, but I should have done what Ken Colyer had done, get a job on a ship and then jump ship in the States. So I didn't make it [to New Orleans] till 1973." - (Just Jazz May 1999)

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COVID-19

In the current climate we are doing our best to keep everyone up to date. All gigs, as we all know, are off.

However, good old YouTube has plenty to offer both old and new to help us survive whilst housebound. Plus now is a good time to stock up on your CDs.

Also, keep an eye out for live streaming sessions.

Alternatively, you could do as they do in Italy and sing from your balcony.

Today

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, April 29, 2015

Darlington Jazz Festival. Sunday April 26: An Afternoon Session @ St Augustine’s

(Review by Russell)
St Augustine’s Parish Centre, an established venue thanks to Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club’s monthly concert promotions, hosted the final day of this year’s Darlington Jazz Festival. Set in leafy grounds, a musician playing with his young daughter, doors open on a mild spring afternoon, the scene exemplified the festival organisers’ relaxed, welcoming approach.
Inside, preparations were almost complete. A festival banner being hung, similarly the   sponsors and Musicians’ Union’s pop up banners were put in place. Three bands were scheduled to perform. Darlington Big Band had the honour of kicking-off proceedings. Mostly old hands, ‘punctuality’ their middle name, the boys set up in good time, ready, keen to get started. 
In the absence of Richie Emmerson, Andy Bennett led the orchestra. Stan Kenton charts, a Horace Silver tune, Theme From Love Story, Frank Mantooth’s arrangement of Alfie, a varied pad, expertly played. The latter number featured a flugel solo from Bill Watson – great playing. Will Howard depped at short notice, reading the charts as they were put in front of him, taking several solos – a real talent is Mr Howard.
Darlington Big Band:
Andy Bennett (MD, alto & soprano saxophones), Will Howard (tenor saxophone & clarinet), Alan Thompson (alto saxophone), Jill ? (alto saxophone), Eric ? (baritone saxophone), Bob Temple (trumpet), Bill Watson (trumpet), Alan Smith (trumpet), Alan Catherall (trumpet), Terry O’Hern (trombone), Dave Brock (trombone), Alistair Wood (trombone), Chris Hibbard (bass trombone), ?? (piano), Tom Stephenson (guitar), Alan Smith (bass guitar) & Ray Campbell (drums)
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Out of town visitors played the middle set of three. The Nicola Farnon Trio made the trip from Sheffield in a tightly-packed estate car – double bass, keyboards, saxophone, drum kit, PA, not forgetting three musicians! Almost a quarter of a million miles on the clock, Farnon, Piero Tucci and Phil Johnson have been around the block a few times. Their set proved to be the surprise hit of the festival. Ms Farnon has three things going for her; an engaging personality, excellent musicianship and a great voice. Make that five things – Piero Tucci is equally adept playing keyboards and tenor saxophone and drummer Phil Johnson knows his way around the kit. The material comprised familiar, classic numbers given a fresh slant, played with verve and consummate skill. A perceptive listener said it was a pleasure to listen to musicians really enjoying themselves. Well said, that man!
Tunes included Cheek to Cheek, This Can’t Be Love, One Note Samba, No Moon at All and The More I See You. Every one of them hit the spot. And then there was a Farnon original – Perfect Loverly Day. Great bass playing, a fabulous voice, Tucci’s swinging tenor and keyboards, Johnson’s propulsive sticks’ work – this gig will live long in the memory for all the right reasons. Note to promoters – book the Nicola Farnon Trio as your audience will be thoroughly entertained and will demand that you book them again! A Day at the Market, a live CD recording by the Nicola Farnon Trio offers more of the same. A review of the 2014 release will be posted in the coming days.
The afternoon’s entertainment concluded with a performance by Darlington’s Little Big Band. The junior big band boasted no fewer than six trumpets, five trombones, six reeds, piano, bass and drums. Tutored by Ian Robinson, the band showed what it could do with classic material. Bill Bailey, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square (beautifully played), First Time Around, a stompin’ Stompin’ at the Savoy, Splanky – all skillfully played with commitment and enjoyment. The St Augustine’s audience made a point of giving every encouragement to the stars of tomorrow. Mr Robinson spoke about the development of jazz education in County Durham over several years and this current crop of young musicians serves as testament to the invaluable work done by many of his colleagues throughout the county.           
Russell.      

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