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Bebop Spoken There

Brian Dee: "I feel my generation had one advantage over today's players in that we were not musically educated in colleges, so we all sounded different. I could tell who it was just by the sound." - (Jazz Rag, Summer 2020).

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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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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.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Doris Day & the Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ The Millstone. February 23

(Review by Russell/Photo of F'reez from archives).
Dire warnings from the Met Office. Storm Doris was to wreak havoc across the region. Trees would fall, chimney stacks topple and big band fans would stay at home. Isobars and sunny spells may well be the province of weather forecasters but, they don’t know much about the determination of fans of Tyneside’s roaring Strictly Smokin’ Big Band to make it to the Millstone to attend the band’s monthly public rehearsal night.
Days after the SSBB’s exhilarating Jazz Co-op gig with Bruce Adams a number of deps more than made up the numbers on this not-so-stormy Thursday night. Star vocalist Ms Alice Grace begged leave of absence to meet up with her Scarlet Street sisters at a secret location to work on their close harmonies prior to the much anticipated Hoochie Coochie concert with the SSBB on March 19. F’reez had the vocal numbers all to himself. One early highlight – Higher Ground – was, and is, F’reez at his best, the band simmering, a  soulful vocal. Flight of the Foo Birds then BBB, F’reez singing September in the Rain – varied material, all of it quality material. Tito Puente’s Oye Como Va closed the first set.
Two absolutely wonderful highlights, one during the first set, one to come in the second. The first, Tom Kubis’ Exactly Like This. Fabulous writing reworking Exactly Like You. A trip to the bar during the interval (beating the band to the bar isn’t guaranteed!), a glance at the TV (Tottenham 1 Ghent 1, Harry Kane will come to the rescue!), ‘hello’ to jazzmen Brian and Jimmy at the bar, they would soon be ascending the stairs to catch the SSBB’s second set.
Ascending the stairs to the sound of Dave McKeague spearheading the band on a Buddy Rich staple, the great man’s arrangement of Norwegian Wood acts as a rallying cry – the band was back in action! Steve Summers announced that MD Michael Lamb had given him permission to try out his new toy…an EWI. Pronk the vehicle, Summers resembled a kid in a sweet shop. Joyful playing, huge applause, and to think this is a rehearsal night!
The trumpet section incisive, McKeague’s drum and bass pattern supported by the seated Michael Whent. The Creeper, Spain (varied material!) then F’reez saying the goodbyes – Moondance (the ensemble’s snapping fingers) and Night and Day. Quite a night. Quite a stormin’ Doris (Day) night with the Strictly Smokin’ Big Band.   
Russell.                         
Michael Lamb (MD/tpt), Ben Chinnery, Gordon Marshall, Tom Hill (trumpets); Alan Marshall, Arthur Higgins (tenor), Steve Summers (alto/soprano/EWI), Keith Robinson (alto), Laurie Rangecroft (baritone); Kieran Parnaby, Mark Ferris, David Barnes, Sarah Bolt trombones; Pawel Jedrzejewski (guitar), Graham Don (keyboards), Michael Whent (bass), Dave McKeague (drums) & F’reez (vocals)    

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

That's the best headline you've ever come up with Russell :)
Thanks for coming down. Keith R

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