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Bebop Spoken There

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11,783 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1023 of them this year alone and, so far, 50 this month (Sept. 17).

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SEPTEMBER

IT IS ADVISABLE TO CHECK IN ADVANCE WITH THE VENUE THAT THE GIG IS ON

SUNDAY 20

Vieux Carre Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. Tel: 0191 691 7090. 12 noon. Free.

Riviera Quartet - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8:00pm. A limited number of seats are available which MUST be bought in advance online. £7:50 or £5:45 live stream only.

THURSDAY 24

Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Maine St Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside Road, Sunniside NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:00pm - 10pm. Free. Note earlier start/finish.

Monday, December 19, 2016

'Let it Snow' - Claire Martin w. Northern Sinfonia @ Sage Gateshead - December 18

Claire Martin (vocal) w. Royal Northern Sinfonia inc. Ryan Quigley (trumpet); Matt Skelton (drums) conducted by Timothy Henty.
(Review by Lance/photo from archive).
I wondered, is this going to be another round of seasonal supermarket songs? I looked at the programme, Winter Wonderland, just as I thought, but, 'alf a mo', Lady is a Tramp. What's Christmassy about that?
Claire explained. The evening was about Christmas but, as next year would have been Ella's centenary, they'd decided to jump the gun and include a lot of Ms. Fitzgerald's songbook classics.
Conductor Henty arranged the Christmas Overture which included a snatch of Manhattan. They used to refer to Sir Malcolm Sargent as 'Flash Harry'. Meet the new and flashier Harry. Henty conducts the orchestra with the fervor of Mourinho on the touchline appealing a penalty decision. It works, I doubt if even John Wilson or Rafael Benitez could have got more from the slimmed down, augmented Sinfonia. 
Augmented in the form of, among others, 5 saxes and Ryan Quigley on trumpet - few opportunities for Ryan - maybe a chorus and a half. That's a bit like subbing Ronaldo in the first 20 minutes.
Back to Claire Martin, the songs may be old chestnuts but, she manages to make them seem like new.
Always singing the verse to the standards and, somehow, making White Christmas sound like it's a new number. Even the fun ones, such as Here Comes Santa Claus and I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus seemed to have more to them than perhaps the composer intended. I mean, was mommy really kissing daddy disguised as Santa Claus or was it the postman disguised as Santa Claus? At this time of year, mommy probably sees a lot more of the postman than she does of daddy!
Christmas songs, Ella songs, there wasn't a dull moment. However, if I had to pick out just two numbers that rung the bell it would be Frank Loesser's What Are You Doing New Year's Eve? and the tearjerking 1922 Irving Berlin song - How About me? Amazingly I'd never heard this song before tonight and now I'll be singing it in my sleep!
And of course the encore - Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. We all knew the words and sung along, with her.
So much more. Claire Martin tops the vocal charts for me and, trust me that, this weekend, that's been a tight contest.
This weekend - tonight!
----- 
Prior to the concert a short set by Hand to Mouth (a.k.a. Bradley Johnston and Lindsay Hannon).
Lindsay was at the top of her game - preparing the groundwork for what was to follow and she did the business. Sage acoustics did her proud as did ace guitarist Johnston. If Claire hadn't been able to make it then no need to phone around...
The duo entertained the gradually building crowd with Dindi; Solitude; That Old  Feeling; Get Out of Town; One Note Samba; Gee Baby Ain't I Good to You; Autumn in New York and, as an overture as to what was to follow - Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow.  
----- 
After the concert, I headed over towards the number 27 bus stop. This involves passing the Prohibition Bar where those well-known bootleggers Big Muddy were serving up bathtub jazz.
I only had time to catch Dave Weisser singing Georgia on my Mind and Show me the Way to go Home (which we all know is based on the chords of The Preacher) but it rounded off the evening perfectly.
Lance.
:PPS: It didn't snow but, somehow, I wished that it had (liar!)

2 comments :

Liz said...

"How about me"...I loved this song in my younger days and love it still. Achingly sad.

Anonymous said...

It was the first time I'd heard it too ..... I've just checked out a few different versions on YT - Ella's is beautiful. It's a heartbreaker .....

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