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Bebop Spoken There

Anat Cohen: "With the tenor, it's so iconic with jazz. With the clarinet, I can improvise, but it doesn't have to be called jazz." - (DownBeat July 2019)

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Today Tuesday June 18

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Lickety Split - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB.Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

River City Jazzmen - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NW. Tel: 01670 813983 (info). 8:00pm. £5.00. (inc raffle). Line-up inc special guests Don Fairley (trombone) & Maureen Hall (vocals).

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Bruce Adams w. Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ Globe Jazz Bar February 18













(Review and b&w photos by Lance/Colour photos courtesy of Ken Drew).

This was a near-perfect Jazz Coop gig. How could it not be with the UK's number one big band trumpet ace playing with what many would claim to be the UK's number one big band?
SSBB hit the deck running with Gerry Mulligan's Red Door. Jamie Toms indicating in his fiery solo that he was well and truly up for it.
Old Man River introduced guest trumpet player Adams who made the most dynamic entry of any trumpet player I've ever heard. He came on like a tidal surge starting round about top C and just getting higher and higher - phew! If the evening had ended then I'd have gone home happy.
But, this was just the beginning!
Adams' frequent sidekick, Alan Barnes, supplied the next number - Side Steppin' - great tune and another great solo.
I Can't Believe You're In-Laws With me - a quirky title for a feature that had the two tenors Kerridge and Toms slugging it out no holds barred.
Time for a vocal or three by F'reez who obliged with Higher Ground, Sunny and my favourite jazz waltz (apart from Bluesette) The Mood I'm in. The band slotted in the Film Noir 1 piece that they do so well. David Barnes' trombone helping to bring those mean streets to life - come to think of it I walked down a few getting here...
Graham Don impressed on Pianitis.
Bruce came back for a quasi Dixie arrangement of Darktown Strutters Ball. Shades of the old Billy May album, Sorta Dixie. Keith Robinson blowing clarinet.
The set came to a close with an arrangement by Marvin Stamm of Secret Love, our star switching to flugel for this one
Time to replenish our glasses.
What's this? Ran out of real ale! The busiest jazz night of the year so far and not enough ale. As I said earlier, a near-perfect gig...
However, suitably sedated with a bottle of Wylam Brewery's Bohemia, beverages became a back number as the Big Band bounced back with Benny Golson's Whisper Not. Toms, Kerridge, Lamb, Pawel, Summers and one of the 'bones led the charge to the line.
Pronk had Pawel pronking whilst Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea saw the saxes play a perfectly balanced chorus that drew the applause - as did David Barnes' trombone solo.
Minor's Holiday featured Bruce, Kerridge and some fine drumming from Tom Chapman - first time I've heard him with the band.
You Can't Go Home Again, a Don Sebesky number recorded by Chet Baker and Paul Desmond, had Bruce switching from flugel to trumpet and back again. I Love You, a straight ahead swinger.
F'reez returned for Gambling Man Blues and On a Clear Day.
Bruce played Ozone Friendly then One Note at a Time.
This latter number was a real blast featuring Adams, Tanton and Lamb so no pressure on our lads! They acquitted themselves well, not trying to beat  Bruce at his own game but capitalising on their own strengths.
The finale/encore, Sorta Ragtime dates back to a later version of Kenny Baker's Dozen of which Adams was a part. Imagine that, Bruce and Kenny in the same band!
David Barnes, Kerridge, Toms, Summers, Robinson and Don all soloing as of course was Man of the Match, Bruce Adams.
Nice gig, shame about the beer!
Lance.

3 comments :

Russell said...

Ken's photograph of Bruce Adams playing flugelhorn shows a 'no smoking' sign on the wall...somewhat incongruous at this Strictly Smokin' gig!

Hugh said...

This gig was not just smokin', it was on fire! Agree Lance, shame about the ale - it was all gone by the time I arrived just after 8 (a heavy demand on Friday according to bar staff). After my first pint of draft IPA (which also ran dry) I was reduced to drinking lager. I took the recommendation of one of the bar staff, Leffes, which was OK, but tasted much better (once it warmed up a bit!

Lance said...

Omitted to mention, in my review, the sterling section work by Gordon Marshall and Tom Hill. Both of whom were singled out by Bruce Adams. Also Michael Whent on bass guitar. Many have said that the bass is the most important member of any band - and the least acknowledged. Likewise the trombones, I know the names and the faces but can never connect the two! All did a sterling job. Plus my old acquaintance Laurie, as good an anchorman as you'll find in any sax section outside of LA (Lower Ashington). Joke over, he does the biz.

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