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Bebop Spoken There

Art Hirahara: "Playing with people is the most important thing to me, and not playing with people is torture." - (DownBeat August, 2020)

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11,763 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 903 of them this year alone and, so far, 40 this month (August 10).

Coming soon ...

August

Tuesday 11: Happy Birthday Dave Hignett & Peter King (80).

Thursday 13: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

James Taylor Quartet @ Hooochie Coochie - February 23

James Taylor (Hammond/vocals); Ralph Wyld (vibes); Andrew McKinney (bass guitar); Pat Illingworth (drums).
(Review by Lance).
Warren Thomson was smiling and Hoochie Coochie's Crown Prince had every right to crack a grin. The room was packed to near capacity and the James Taylor Quartet had just laid down  90 minutes of the jazziest, funkiest, take no prisoner grooves to be heard at the venue since their last visit. 
They hit the deck with Jesus Christ Superstar which I gather is their theme song although, in truth, it bore little resemblance to the Lloyd Webber original (I'm pleased to say). Taylor attacked the defenceless B3 with such ferocity that, had it been an animal, the RSPCA would have been called in! This was quite an opener and set the tone for the rest of the evening. Booker T's Green Onions followed along with other numbers, some of which I recognised and some of which I didn't. Who cared? A rose by any other name etc.

Of course, it wasn't all forearm smashes. Across the stage, Ralph Wyld, one of, if not the, best vibes players in the country brought a touch of sanity to the proceedings with some of the most swinging vibes playing you're ever likely to hear this side of Lionel Hampton's grave.
Sitting, not unobtrusively, at the back of the stage, drummer Illingworth gave it the 'seven shades' treatment. After Thursday night, at The Globe, I thought nothing would top Marton Juhasz with the Alan Benzie Trio but Illingworth raised the bar to an even higher level. Barry Black with the Customs House Big Band has it all to do tonight!
On bass guitar, Andrew McKinney - playing hooky from BIM where he is head of the bass department - kept his head holding it all together but, when let loose, proved to be as outré as the other three.
There was much audience participation with lots of choral work from the floor, arm-waving, hand - clapping, counting up to ten in English, French and German (don't ask me!) Taylor had a few vocals, none of which threatened Ed Sheeran, I don't suppose he'd want them to. He's a showman and one helluva musician.
Come back soon!
Lance.
PS: Other numbers included the themes from the movie Blow Out and the tv series Starsky and Hutch. The audience was just old enough to remember them.

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