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Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Mike Durham’s Classic Jazz Party @ The Village Hotel. Nov 5, afternoon

(Review by Russell/photo courtesy of Patti Durham & Emra hErken)).
Friday’s late night jam session attendees appeared to be the same early Saturday morning breakfasters. Perhaps they hadn’t been to bed. The festival CD and book stall attracted an enthusiastic crowd: I think I’ve got that one. I’ll buy it anyway. By eleven, Alnwick’s VIP Brewery greeted its enthusiastic customers once more. Not one, but two hand pulls kept a cask-to-concert hall line of customers happy.
(Photo Richard Exall & Thomas Winterler at Jam Session). 
Noon. Famous Duos introduced themselves to another capacity audience. Recreating the 1930 studio session which yielded Dear Old Southland, Bent Persson’s Louis Armstrong to Keith Nichols’s Buck Washington enthralled the 2016 Classic Jazz Party gathering. As did the Venuti-Lang Wild Cat duet performed by Emma Fisk and Martin Wheatley. At an indecent hour (approximately ten minutes past midday!) Mellow Baku sang Bessie Smith accompanied by David Boeddinghaus (piano). Baku was all a fluster thinking of her jelly roll Kitchen Man. Imagine Bix on cornet and piano. Andy Schumm and Martin Litton did just that on In a Mist. A gem of a session.
Fats Waller’s Rhythm commanded the stage for a fast moving hour of Fats, courtesy of Keith Nichols. My Fate is in Your Hands said Nichols, Menno Daams nailed the coda on  Ain’t Misbehavin’  and, such is his authority on the subject, Nichols included a tune never actually recorded by Waller – Prisoner of Love.

Following Louis (a gargantuan task) hit the heights, although it took three of them to get there! Armstrong disciples Bent Persson, Duke Heitger (USA) and Rico Tomasso shared the workload in a career retrospective. Joining them in the enterprise were Switzerland’s Thomas Winteler, reeds, Alistair Allan, trombone and a dream rhythm section led by the New Orleanian David Boeddinghaus, piano, Frenchman Henri Lemaire, guitar and banjo, Graham Hughes, bass and Nick Ball, drums. Heitger’s take on I Cover the Waterfront, an excellent Basie-ish blues and the three trumpets closer with rarely heard verse – Rocking Chair – confirmed this hour long set a truly memorable occasion.

Ms Mellow Baku visited New York, USA, via a Leicester Slug and Lettuce residency and perhaps unwittingly, New York, North Tyneside. New York and Mellow presented Baku   singing a selection of classic numbers. Mellow, a firm favourite of the Classic Jazz Party, sang one great tune after another: Lady Be Good, Deed I Do, Honeysuckle Rose (in a soft-shoe style, said Baku), Mean to Me, Willow Weep for Me, On the Sunny Side of the Street and Exactly Like You. The latter number rated alongside erstwhile Classic Jazz Party star guest Ms Cécile McLorin-Salvant’s wonderful recording of the McHugh/Fields’ classic.           

The afternoon’s program ended on an emphatic upbeat. Western Swing did what it said on the campfire tin of beans. Appalling ten-gallon Stetsons, the spirit of Bob Wills, this was good fun. Martin Wheatley devised the program, any complaints should be addressed to Mr M Wheatley c/o The Classic Jazz Party.
Russell.
                 



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