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Bebop Spoken There

Lou Donaldson: "(On Art Blakey) Everything changed. Especially when the women came in, sat down in the front row, and raised their skirts above their knees. Then the drums got louder, the tempos got faster, and every tune was a drum solo" - (JazzTimes, November 2019.)

Archive

Today Saturday December 14

Afternoon

Jazz

Anth Purdy - Isabella Community Centre, Ogle Drive, Blyth NE24 5JF. Tel: 01670 543773. 11:00am-1:00pm. Free. Christmas Fair.

Jazz Attack - Sage Gateshead, St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. 3:30pm. Free (concourse). Young Musicians Live! YMP Winter Festival.

Jambone - Sage Gateshead, St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. 4:00pm. Free but ticketed (Sage Two). Young Musicians Live! YMP Winter Festival.

Evening

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regents Farm Road, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 284 3700. 8:00pm. £12.00. + bf. Second night of two.

Sold Out!

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Blues/Funk/Soul

Loft Boys - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

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

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Tyne Valley Big Band @ The Fox, Hexham - Dec 5

(Review/photos by Russell - final photo taken from behind his baritone sax is by John Knapton)
Modest one-room pub + big band = a fun night out. Arriving at the Fox, Hexham Jazz Club’s HQ, it appeared a furniture removals business was in the process of clearing the place. Hang on…it’s the band rearranging the room! The pub’s usual bay window stage area would become front row seats for the evening as the regular seating was requisitioned by the band, that’s the twenty three-strong Tyne Valley Big Band.
The TVBB is a super-sized big band varying in number from one gig to the next. This Hexham Jazz Club engagement mustered a mere nine reeds (of which seven were female!), a paltry six trumpets (five in the section, MD Dave Hignett out front) and, had space permitted, there would have been a keyboard player working alongside the band’s rhythm section. The Pink Panther for starters, a tune the pub’s resident non-jazz fan (stationed at the bar) sheepishly conceded was a canny tune. Dave Hignett suggested he may not like the rest of the evening! In the Mood (arr. Doc Severinsen) with a flurry of soloists including Andrea de Vere on tenor and Kelly Rose, alto. Ray Charles’ Hallelujah I Love Her So, featuring a trombone blast from Simon Hirst (heard recently with the Bold Big Band), could have been any old internet download arrangement but not this one. MD Hignett made use of an invaluable regional resource to challenge and stretch the band by playing an arrangement by a well-loved bandleader, composer and arranger, the late Ray Chester. The Chester family donated Mr Chester’s vast library of arrangements to Sage Gateshead with the express intention that it was to be made available for occasions such as this at the Fox.

Band singer Barbara Hignett made a first appearance singing Route 66 then Sway (the audience did, sway that is). Uptown Funk (Mark Ronson, Bruno Mars) went global and the TVBB plays the number with gusto. The band is nothing if not prepared to turn its hand to anything. From Ronson to Sammy Nestico’s Feelin’ Free featuring the muted trumpet section and You Gotta Try.

Alto saxophonist Sophie Speed was Feelin’ the Funk as were Hignett, Kevin Moore, guitar, and a riffing band. Becky White emerged from the reeds to shine on Birdland , Barbara Hignett returned to tell us it was a Hexham Winter Wonderland which brought a close to the evening, except for a poignant finale. Earlier this year the Tyne Valley Big Band lost a friend and fine drummer when, at the age of 45, Mark Bolderson died. Mark suggested to Dave Hignett the band should play Gospel. They did, Mark got to play it, and this evening’s concert ended with the band playing it. On Dec 9th (Saturday) in Queen’s Hall, Hexham, the Tyne Valley Big Band will be taking part along with many others, including the Tyne Valley Youth Big Band and the Tyne Valley Jazz Ensemble, in a concert to help raise funds for the Mark Jon Bolderson Percussion Foundation. Tickets are available from the Queen’s Hall – telephone 01434 652477.
Russell                                                                                                                                                       Dave Hignett MD, Ben Chinnery, Caroline Guirr, Andrew Guerin Nat Haslam, Deborah Smurthwaite (trumpets); Becky White, Kelly Rose, Heidi Griffin, Matt Walker, Andrea de Vere, Sophie Speed, Juliet Williams, John Knapton, Dianne Mays (reeds); Steve Quilliam, Simon Hirst, Dave Bradford, Nick Brodin (trombones); Kevin Moore (guitar & vocals); Michael Cunningham (bass); Jack Ruddick (drums) & Barbara Hignett (vocals)

4 comments :

Lance said...

Thanks to John Knapton for supplying full personnel.

John said...

Thanks for such a great write up Lance! We had a hoot!

Lance said...

Don't thank me John, Russell supplied the words. He's our Poet Laureate.

John said...

Thanks to Russell too, nice words!!