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Bebop Spoken There

Dee Dee Bridgewater: “ Our world is becoming a very ugly place with guns running rampant in this country... and New Orleans is called the murder capital of the world right now ". Jazzwise, May 2024.

The Things They Say!

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Postage

16434 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 314 of them this year alone and, so far, 26 this month (May 9).

From This Moment On ...

May

Sat 18: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:00-9:00pm. Free. Celebrating ‘10 years of the Jazz Jam!’. House trio: Alan Law, Paul Grainger, Tim Johnston. A Late Shows event.
Sat 18: SH#RP Collective @ Holy Name Parish Church Hall, Jesmond, Newcastle. 7:00-9:00pm. Tickets: £15.00. Bar available, BYO snacks. A Jesmond Community Festival event. All proceeds to Kabuyanda Charity (Ugandan health care).
Sat 18: Red Kites Jazz @ Staithes Café, Autumn Drive, Gateshead. 7:30pm.
Sat 18: Alligator Gumbo @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm.
Sat 18: Rockin’ Turner Brothers @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 18: Papa G’s Amigos special summer Latin set @ The Schooner, Gateshead NE8 3AF. 9:00pm. Free.
Sat 18: Late Night Special with Ruth Lambert & special guests @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 10:00pm-midnight. £5.00. (booking essential). Lambert & surprise jam session guests from down the years.

Sun 19: BTS Trombone Day @ Mark Hillery Arts Centre, Collingwood College, Durham University DH1 3LT. 11:00am-5:00pm. Free to British Trombone Society members (£10.00. & £5.00. to non-members). Recitals, workshops and mass blows.
Sun 19: Women Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. £25.00. Tutor: Andrea Vicari. Enquiries: learning@jazz.coop.
Sun 19: Ransom Van @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 19: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 19: Andrea Vicari Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 20: Harmony Brass @ the Crescent Club, Cullercoats. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 20: Michael Young Trio @ The Engine Room, Sunderland. 6:00-8:00pm. Free. Opus de Funk: Horace Silver.
Mon 20: Joe Steels-Ben Lawrence Quartet @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. £8.00.

Tue 21: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Alan Law, Paul Grainger, John Bradford.

Wed 22: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 22: Alice Grace Vocal Masterclass @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 6:00pm. Free.
Wed 22: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 22: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 22: Daniel Erdmann’s Thérapie de Couple @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Thu 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 23: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 23: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Thu 23: Immortal Onion + Rivkala @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 23: The Doris Day Story @ Phoenix Theatre, Blyth. 7:30pm.
Thu 23: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Jeremy McMurray (keys); Dan Johnson (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Bill Watson (trumpet); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

Fri 24: Hot Club du Nord @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00. SOLD OUT!
Fri 24: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 24: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 24: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 24: Swannek + support @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. Time TBC.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Glenn Miller Orchestra (Ray McVay, MD) @ Sage Gateshead – Dec 30

(Review by Russell)
Twelve months on from Ray McVay’s last visit to Sage Gateshead, the weather unseasonably mild, the veteran band leader’s troops were as last time round with just two changes in personnel – Keith Hutton joining the trombone section, and vocalist Mark Porter returning to the fold after a number of years fulfilling other engagements. All seats were occupied on Level One (the stalls, in old money), Level Two likewise, resulting in the upper level being open for business. It is seventy-two years and more since Glenn Miller bailed out but the popularity of the American big band swing legend shows no sign of waning.
Strike Up the Band commanded McVay. A String of Pearls, the first appearance of the Swing Time Jivers doing their thing to Flying Home, the Moonlight Serenaders – Catherine Sykes, Mark Porter, Ray Wordsworth, Alan Berlyn and Danny Hammerton – singing I Got A Gal in Kalamazoo, this was a fast moving show. Sykes remained on stage to sing As Time Goes By accompanied by trumpeter Berlyn. The Nearness of You featured Mark Porter with succinct trombone, tenor and trumpet solos accompanying from within the sections.

The band’s collective resumé is truly impressive; concert, stage, radio and television engagements include Frank Sinatra, Nancy Wilson, Humphrey Lyttleton, Alex Welsh, Sarah Vaughan, Mel Tormé and Billy Eckstine…and then there’s Urbie Green and Bill Watrous, Dionne Warwick, Buddy Greco, the list goes on…Art Farmer, Sonny Stitt, Bing Crosby. And some of them have been to college, a shining example being vocalist Catherine Sykes (Leeds College of Music). Yes, these guys know exactly what they’re doing. Band leader Ray McVay lets them get on with it. Nominally conducting the band, McVay the Miller obsessive, listens as much as directs.

Little Brown Jug featured trombone master Ray Wordsworth, Dan Faulkner, tenor, and one of four top notch trumpeters on the gig, Alan Berlyn. Extended solo spots were few and far between. One notable departure showcased Simon Meredith playing soprano on My Funny Valentine. Too much jazz could disturb the foot-tapping crowd, McVay knows his audience, Pennsylvania 6-5000

 kept the Miller fans on side. Catherine Sykes singing Moonglow hit the heights, indeed this, and Sing, Sing, Sing (a drum feature for Bobby Cleall) topped-off this matinee performance at Sage Gateshead.   

Second set, costume change, Miller’s AEF Band. American Patrol heard the trumpet section nail it. Hot Toddy featured the energetic dance troupe the Swing Time Jivers doing their thing alongside, or rather in front of, the band’s excellent ensemble work. More of the same as all and sundry went Runnin’ Wild. McVay introduced a ‘million seller’ tune on more than one occasion; Tuxedo Junction (the Miller clarinet sound so evident), Chattanooga Choo Choo, the inevitable In the Mood, and, as McVay said: Adios. Ray McVay, Glenn Miller, Sage Gateshead…Christmas 2017? Probably!   
Russell.
Ray McVay (MD), Mark Porter (vocals), Catherine Sykes (vocals), Andy Potts (alto saxophone & clarinet), Simon Meredith (alto & soprano saxophones, clarinet), Martin Dunsdon (tenor saxophone), Dan Faulkner (tenor saxophone), Loren Hignell (baritone & alto saxophone), Dave Ford (trumpet), Alan Berlyn (trumpet), Danny Hammerton (trumpet), John Hinch (trumpet), Dale Gibson Jnr (trombone), Ray Wordsworth (trombone & vocals), Keith Hutton (trombone), Bruce Douglas (bass trombone), Bunny Thompson (piano), Paul Scott (double bass) & Bobby Cleall (drums); the Moonlight Serenaders & the Swing Time Jivers.


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