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Bebop Spoken There

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June 2: Vieux Carré Jazzmen are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club.
June 7: Jazz in the Afternoon are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Sinatraland - Sage Gateshead. Nov. 26

Claire Martin, Liane Carroll, Ian Shaw (vcl) w. BBC Big Band; Mark Nightingale (MD) inc. Martin Shaw, Brian Rankine (tpt); John Higginbotham, Gordon Campbell, Ashley Horton (tmb); Steve Main, Jamie Anderson, Howard McGill, Jay Craig, Stewart Forbes (reeds); Robin Aspland (pno);  Tommy Emmerton (guitar); Dave Whitford (bs); Tom Gordon (dms).
Didn't get the full personnel, it differed from anticipated line-up.
(Review by Lance).
Has the Sinatra Centenary bubble finally burst? judging by last night's poor turn out it may well have. Not surprising as it has been running in one form or another throughout the world since January in halls large and small and it's now almost December in one of the biggest halls of all!*
Claire Martin did the announcing and provided the highlight of the evening with as emotive a reading of In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning as you will hear anywhere. Accompanied by just guitar and bass this was something I doubt if even Frank could have bettered.
Ian Shaw sang It's a Lonesome Old Town adding "Just like Gateshead"! Liane Carroll (pictured left) sang a sensitive version of How Insensitive and all three closed the show with Lady is a Tramp. There were, of course, many more songs from the Sinatra repertoire but the above gives the general flavour.
Personally, I'd like to have heard Shaw and Carroll** in their more familiar setting - playing piano and singing - at times the balance didn't do them any favours.
Bandwise, Martin Shaw (pictured right), Sammy Mayne, Jamie Anderson, Howard McGill and John Higginbotham were among the soloists. Martin Shaw playing relaxed flugel on All or Nothing at All.
A curate's egg I think.
Lance.
* The concert not being listed in the Sage Gateshead Sept.-Nov. brochure may have also been a contributing factor as a friend pointed out to me.
* *Liane Carroll is back in April.

4 comments :

Hugh C said...

Reading between the lines, I think your impression (Lance) was similar to mine. Given the quality of the individual performers and the band, I would have expected more. It never quite got off the ground somehow. This was not helped by the sound - far too much reverb on the singers' mikes and many of the instrumental solos could not be heard properly.
I moved after the interval to avoid sweetie-packet rustlers in one of the "boxes", to find myself sat in front of a couple who insisted on having a conversation through the full second half. I might have enjoyed the second half better without the running commentary!

Peter Bevan said...

Entirely agree about the sound - the amplification did neither the singers or the band any good.
Felt like the audience was there as an afterthought and it will be interesting to hear how much better the sound is when it's broadcast on Radio 3.
On the personnel I think you may be able to add Gordon Campbell & Ashley Horton (tb), Tom Gordon (d), Stewart Forbes (bar & b-cl), and Dave Whitford (b) who with the guitarist was one of the best musicians on the night.
Also think Claire announced Steve Main rather than Sammy Mayne.
Peter Bevan
You can see more of what I thought in the Darlington & Stockton Times in 2/3 weeks.

Lance said...

Thanks Peter it was one of those gigs that didn't get off the ground for me. I had him down as Steve but assumed it was Sammy! - Doh! Apologies to all concerned.

Hugh said...

I have now listened to the broadcast - much better sound balance, and no reverb!

I noted Claire Martin's poetic licence - "the capacity crowd here"...

... much the same as the capacity crowd in the Commons when MPs "doughnut" around the member speaking for the benefit of the viewer(s) of live TV broadcast of debates.

Peter - could you post a link to your review in the Darlington and Stockton Times when it is published?

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