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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 08, 2016

Mike Durham’s Classic Jazz Party @ The Village Hotel. Nov 4, evening

(Review by Russell/photo courtesy of Patti Durham & Emrah Erken)
After dinner, Hot Strings guitarists Martin Wheatley and Spats Langham entertained the audience with their typically understated, largely unamplified, duo set. Diners returned to the concert hall, claimed their allocated table for the evening, and readied themselves for Keith Nichols’ command: Stomp off, Let’s go! The American big guns sat alongside the European reeds section; Bix’s man, Andy Schumm and Duke Heitger, trumpets, with Jim Fryer, trombone, making his debut at the Village Hotel, added lustre to the occasion. The reeds – the versatile Robert Fowler, the excellent Richard Exall and the impressive young Norwegian Lars Frank – demonstrated that the music of 20s Chicago has long-since been assimilated by musicians this side of the Atlantic. A busy Spats Langham returned to the engine room to knock out the rhythm (guitar and banjo) with sousaphone master Mr Phil Rutherford and the amazing Nick Ball, percussion. Nichols, in good humour, cracked his usual quota of one-liners in between directing from the Kawai piano, finding time to take a swipe at Earl Hines, no less! It was, of course, self-deprecating, jocular fun, cursing the piano great for leaving a difficult legacy to uphold. It should be noted Mr Keith Nichols acquitted himself admirably. Later vocalist Mellow Baku (pictured) joined the orchestra. More of Ms Baku later.
Annette Hanshaw sang for half an hour in the company of piano accompanist Mr Martin Litton. Our vocalist was, of course, Ms Janice Day. A small combo setting of Emma Fisk, Martin Wheatley, bassist Malcolm Sked and urbane reedsman Jean-Francois Bonnel gave Hanshaw/Day the opportunity to shine, singing You’re the Cream in My Coffee (of which Day informed the full house that Marlene Deitrich sang the number screen testing for The Blue Angel), Button Up Tour Overcoat and Am I Blue?

The New Orleans Wanderers arrived on North Tyneside without Louis Armstrong. Bent Persson, cornet, took the part of Louis’ dep George Mitchell (contractual arrangements in 1926 excluded Armstrong from a studio recording date) in what was, effectively, the Hot Five. The participation of Thomas Winteler, reeds, underscored the historical accuracy of the Chicago session of ninety years ago. Bent Persson’s set drew on the arranger’s talents of Claus Jacobi and Graham Hughes' passable take on Kid Ory in playing a great set with tunes including Gatemouth and a hot Too Tough.

Friday’s closing set presented The Music of Alex Hill. Pianist, composer and arranger, in 2016 Hill is an almost forgotten figure. Leonard Feather described Alex Hill thus: One of the better and less recognized arrangers of the early swing era. Menno Daams’ one hour review of Hill’s all-too-short career (Hill was dead at thirty) featured Rico Tomasso and Duke Heitger, trumpets, Frenchmen Jean-François Bonnel and Henri Lemaire, the larger than life Richard Pite, drums and the most impressive David Boeddinghaus (piano). I’m Crazy About My Baby set the bar high, yet greater heights were achieved tune after tune.      
A superb end to events in the concert hall. A jam session followed into the small hours in the adjoining Victory pub. 
Russell.                

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Another fab day and evening - jazz heaven!
The photo credit should read Emrah Erken, by the way.

Lance said...

Apologies - now corrected.

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