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Bebop Spoken There

Brian Dee: "I feel my generation had one advantage over today's players in that we were not musically educated in colleges, so we all sounded different. I could tell who it was just by the sound." - (Jazz Rag, Summer 2020).

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11,783 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1023 of them this year alone and, so far, 50 this month (Sept. 17).

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SEPTEMBER

IT IS ADVISABLE TO CHECK IN ADVANCE WITH THE VENUE THAT THE GIG IS ON

SATURDAY

Happy Birthday Katy Trigger & Mia Webb.

SUNDAY 20

Vieux Carre Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. Tel: 0191 691 7090. 12 noon. Free.

Riviera Quartet - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8:00pm. A limited number of seats are available which MUST be bought in advance online. £7:50 or £5:45 live stream only.

THURSDAY 24

Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Maine St Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside Road, Sunniside NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:00pm - 10pm. Free. Note earlier start/finish.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

CD Review: Kansas Smitty's House Band - Kansas Smitty's ****.


(Review by Lance).
Where have all the swingers gone? Trad/New Orleans/Dixieland bands abound as do  hard bop to contemporary combos. But where are those in between bands - the bands that swing without sounding as if the drummer has a clubfoot or, at the other extreme, three feet and five hands?
I'm talking mainstream.
Locally, the Esquire Jazzmen make a decent fist of it and occasionally the Maine St. Jazzmen move over from their Dixieland base but, by and large, the middle ground has become somewhat barren. Admittedly we have several big bands and Django style outfits who do the Swing Shifts but missing are the small bands playing in the style of such bands as those led by Humph, Bruce Turner, Kenny Baker and Harry Hayes in the UK or the likes of Red Allen and Buck Clayton in The States. Sadly, all of these names are now in the obituary columns although, in the case of Buck Clayton, are not entirely forgotten in the form of the Buck Clayton Legacy Band led by Alyn Shipton and Matthias Seuffert who play Sage Gateshead on October 30. Seuffert is also, as always, one of the core performers at this year's Whitley Bay Classic Jazz Party - a weekend where, for three days, I will have no cause for complaint at the lack of swing.
Perhaps, one day, Kansas Smitty's House Band will make its way north - I hope so.
Pete Horsfall, we recall from the Basin Street Brawlers, and here his driving trumpet lead also kicks Smitty's House Band along.
Warm Embrace, co-written by Smitty and Fox sounds like it was a number from one of those songwriting teams that abounded in the '30s - beautiful! And yet all the tracks are originals - only Cross, Webb, Ireland and Edwards don't get their name on the scoresheet.
The blurb describes the album as "a crafted blend of Kansas City jazz, New Orleans funk, trad and swing, with a touch of avant-garde/improv." Don't let these last two genres put you off. This is avant-garde as it was in the 1930s/'40s. Close your eyes and it could be John Kirby/Raymond Scott.Kansas City 7 or an Ellington small group time-lifted to today.
Highly recommended for "them as likes their music on the jumping side" - amazingly I picked up that quote from a Glenn Miller broadcast and it's even more appropriate here!
Kansas Smitty's House Band have their own bar  in East London's at 63 - 65 Broadway Market, E8 4PH. Next time I'm in the Capital I'll be making a beeline - if I don't then maybe they'll come up to Newcastle to play the Jazz Coop's jazz bar at the Globe or the Jazz Café!
The album is available as a download (£8.99); CD (£10); Vinyl (£15.) from Kansas Smitty's official store.
Lance.
Pete Horsfall (tpt/vcls); Giacomo Smith (alt/clt); Ruben Fox (ten); Theon Cross (tuba/tmb); Joe Webb (pno); Dave Archer (gtr); Ferg Ireland (bs); Pedro Segundo (dms) + Leonie Evans (vcl); Brian Edwards (ten).

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