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Bebop Spoken There

Avishai Cohen (trumpet): "This is my main thing right now: Live in the here and now, take things one day at a time. I'm stopping everything I can, and stripping everything to the bone. I'm spending a lot of time listening to music, playing, going for walks, enjoying my kids." - (DownBeat June 2020).

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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.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

John Wilson Orchestra w. Matthew Ford & Louise Dearman @ Sage Gateshead

Hardly a jazz concert - Hall One was three tiers full and 'twill be the same tonight! However, there was a strong jazz presence amongst the 68 piece orchestra including Colin Oxley on guitar and drummer Matt Skelton.
The overture was a medley of just about all the well known Gershwin goodies bookended by snatches of Rhapsody in Blue. This indicated to me that we weren't going to be dealt a selection of done to death songs but some lesser known ones and, in the main, we were.
Treat me Rough from Girl Crazy brought Matthew Ford and Louise Dearman to the fore. They were in good voice. It's a great song. Mike Lovell blew trumpet and Harold McGill alto.
Louise hung around for a wistful But Not for Me. Including, as did most of the songs, the verse. Let's face it, why write a verse then have just about every other singer ignore it?
The duo then introduced us to another rarely heard piece of Gershwin - Could You Use Me?
The lyric's quite incredible: 
There's a chap I know in Mexico,
Who's strong as he can be,
Eats nails and drinks Texaco,
He's the type for me.
Yes George's music was great but Ira's lyrics weren't bad either!
Slap That Bass; They Can't Take That Away From me; I Was Doin' Alright (by Louise) led us to the interval and New York Rhapsody.
Now this is the moment when I move away from the 'isn't it great syndrome'. As a songwriter Gershwin ranks alongside the very greatest (Porter, Kern, Berlin, Rodgers etc) but, I've never quite got into his quasi classical composition and this one was no better than his more famous rhapsody. Having said that, Ian Buckle played it brilliantly and I felt privileged to hear what was a very rarely, if ever, played composition. Still...
Interval time. A quick hello to 3 of the guys (l-r) Colin (alto), Andy and Russell (trumpets).
Back in our seats, Matthew and Louise, now in a stunning figure-hugging dress that dispelled speculation that she may be preggers, Struck up the Band then Louise displayed her spot on pitching with an emotional How Long Has This Been Going on?  Matthew sang Let's Kiss and Make up - the latter two from the Astaire/Hepburn movie Funny Face then another big one from Louise - The Man I Love. Mark Crooks came down front and blew Lady be Good - the Artie Shaw arrangement. Matthew 'did Gene Kelly' with S'wonderful, Both singers made love moves in For You, For Me, Forever More then the show drew to a close with Shall We Dance/They All Laughed.
Of course it's never over until the fat lady sings except this afternoon it was the very slim, svelte, sophisticated Louise who sang Someone to Watch Over Me. Unaccompanied verse and first 16 bars before taking us out with as good a version as you'll hear in a lot of listening.
Oh yes, John Wilson! A Geordie Lad made good. His control of the 68 piece band a joy to watch and his announcements both humourous and informative. Carve his name alongside Alan Shearer, Sting and Eric Burdon.
Roll on next year.
Lance.
PS: Liz, up from York, and myself, up from Hebburn, enjoyed an after show chat with Ann Havis who just happened to be ex J.G.Windows... small world.

2 comments :

Liz said...

a wonderful afternoon, up to the usual John Wilson standard, I do like him , he has a very succinct way of addressing the audience, not over much, just enough to keep us in the loop without overdoing it. Lance said it all performance-wise...same time next year?

John Forster (on F/b) said...

Just got back from the evening gig. First class as usual.

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