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Bebop Spoken There

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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Musicians Unlimited @ Park Hotel, Hartlepool. Nov. 13

In the absence of Mick Donnelly the band looked to Ray Dales to lead from the front, select a few tunes and keep the regulars happy. Bill Watson (trumpet and flugelhorn) took the lion’s share of the solos with John Hudson (tenor) and Dales himself (alto) a soloist. Opening with Blueberry Hill the numbers should have come thick and fast. It didn’t quite happen like that with lengthy breaks between tunes as the laid back Dales took time to call the next one. 

The well-drilled trumpet section – with Bill Watson the featured soloist on trumpet and flugelhorn – hit the heights, the trombones – with Don Fairley in the section – strolled through it all and the rhythm section did likewise. The vocalists were absent (they’ll return on Sunday) resulting in Witchcraft being played as an instrumental. The set closer – Strike Up the Band – proved to be just about the best tune of the afternoon.       
Russell   
Musicians Umlimited: trumpet & flugelhorn: Alan Catherall, David Johnson, Kevin Eland, Bill Watson; trombone: Don Fairley, Dave Brock, Helen Grainger, Peter Chester; reeds: John Hudson (tenor), Mark Toomey (tenor), Ray Dales (MD, alto), Caroline Bagley (alto), Ian Bosworth (guitar), Bryn Jones (piano), Mick Shoulder (double bass), Tom Chapman (drums) & Ernie Jackson (percussion)

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