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Bebop Spoken There

Jennifer Wharton: "People forget that the trombone is so glorious. It can be like going to church, or getting ready for battle. It can be a lot of things....For a longtime I was the only female trombonist in New York," - (DownBeat May 2021)

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13,218 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 637 of them this year alone and, so far, 45 this month (May 11).

2021 APPJAG (All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group)

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May 13: Vieux Carré Jazzmen at The Holystone (weather, unfortunately, not permitting). CANCELLED!

May 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen at The Holystone (Indoors!)
May 20 Maine Street Jazzmen are back at Sunniside Social Club.
May 23: Vieux Carré Hot Four are back at The Spanish City.

June 21: Jazz in the Afternoon are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club. (Revised date).
June 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club. (Revised date).

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

The Bold Big Band @ The Dun Cow, Jesmond - December 3

(Review by Russell)
The Dun Cow in Brandling Village, Jesmond, recently reopened following extensive refurbishment. The Brandling, as was, is the new watering hole of students and anyone else who lives in the area and, indeed, further afield. An open plan public house with a conservatory extension to one end, a range of beers at the bar, just the place for a quiet Sunday evening drink.     
Bebop Spoken Here accepted an invitation to attend the inaugural performance of a new big band.
The Dun Cow’s conservatory extension transformed, for one night only, into a makeshift stage was hoping to squeeze in an eighteen-piece big band - the Bold Big Band. Five reeds, three out front, a second line of two, three trombones, the bass ’bone man in the second row, it was a little cramped! Two drummers, sharing kit and percussion duties, a guitarist at the back (heard but not seen!), and a singing bass player. Oh! And a partially obscured piano player to one side.
The Bold Big Band assembled right on time for the first of three sets. One or two familiar faces sat in the sections; Davids Hignett and Gray, trumpet and trombone respectively, Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra members, including bassist Ifede Osiyemi, and final year music students, drummer Harry Still and, heard playing tenor at a recent Jazz Café jam session, the Bold Big Band’s MD, Mr  Jimmy Jefford. About that quiet drink…make it some other time! The Bold Big Band hit the ground running, bold as, and didn’t let up all night. Spain (arr. Paul Jennings) set the standard; gloriously loud (front row seats within millimeters of the horns!), blazing solos flying around the sections, this was one mightily impressive opening! C Jam Blues, then Four (arr. Mark Taylor), step forward, no, stand up, stay where you are, there isn’t the room to go anywhere else, Ms Alexis Cairns, reeds.

The band played it loud. The audience (the place was packed) reciprocated with huge applause, a fabulous atmosphere right from the off. Bassist Ifede Osiyemi made his way to the front of stage to sing The Lady is a Tramp. More wild applause, the ladies would soon be up dancing! Buddy Rich and Herbie Hancock are in the pad of countless big bands and the Bold Big Band saw no reason not to play a couple – Big Swing Face (Mercedes Phillips, alto), then Watermelon Man. End of set one. Go to the bar, set two would soon be upon us.

No sooner had the audience caught its breath the Bold Big Band launched into the first of two big band heavyweight workouts courtesy of the Big Phat Band man, Mr Gordon Goodwin. Sing, Sang, Sung featured Ms Phillips on soprano saxophone and later the orchestra would deliver a knockout blow with a sure-fire winner from the pen of the Los Angeles-based composer, arranger and big band leader. A Beautiful Friendship had all of the many females present singing along with Ifede Osiyemi (excellent section work behind him). A wonderful moment. Jimmy Jefford lead on Mercy Mercy Mercy and the set closer, Manteca, tore it up.

Go to the bar, set three would soon be upon us. Jefford lead the way once more on Work Song. A second Big Phat Band selection – Count Bubba – highlighted the exemplary work of the sections, making it clear that this new band is going to turn heads wherever it plays. An instrumental version of This Masquerade was, perhaps, a little hurried and a vocal wouldn’t have gone amiss. Sammy Nestico’s arrangement of Just in Time brought the evening almost to a close…almost. The Bold Big Band went out, all guns blazing, on Gordon Goodwin’s The Jazz Police. The Dun Cow was up and dancing! A new band has well and truly announced its arrival on the scene. You’ll be hearing more from the Bold Big Band, that’s for sure. A truly memorable debut. 
Russell
PS: Full personnel to follow when confirmed.

1 comment :

Patti said...

And what a fabulous, storming debut this was - big band heaven in Brandling Village!

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