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Bebop Spoken There

Dave Puddy: "Eventually we paid our entrance money [to Eel Pie Island] and fought our way to one of the many bars where we could buy our Newcastle Brown and retire to the back of the heaving dancefloor. There must have been lights somewhere, but my memory remains of being in some dark cavernous wonderland." - (Just Jazz July 2020)

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11,612 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 747 of them this year alone and, so far, 11 this month (July 3).

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.
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Born This Day
Louis Armstrong and Steve Andrews.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Strictly Smokin' Big Band with Kermit the frog @ The Millstone - July 26

(Review by Russell)
With the boss absent the temptation was there to get up to mischief, however, MD Michael Lamb can rest easy, on a steamy early evening the boys and girls of the orchestra got down to business, as usual. Keeping an eye on matters, and an ear to the ground, was a very special guest...Kermit the Frog.
F'reez got the show on the road with Let the Good Times Roll and it wasn't too long before his vocal partner-in-crime Alice Grace joined the party, greeting a full house at the Millstone  with the words: Happy heatwave! With Pete Tanton's muted trumpet work AG scatted on Honeysuckle Rose. If there was an admission charge to this regular public rehearsal session - there isn't - it would be worth every penny simply to hear AG sing. And sing again did the Strictly Smokin' vocalist as she insisted, with no little humour, Somebody Loves Me.

F'reez interpreted Anthony Strong's arrangement of Whatever Lola Wants and moments later there was a mass exodus from the rather warm upstairs room - the interval had come just in time. Some made a dash to the bar, some sat in the beer garden. 

Okay with Jay resumed hostilities with a two-alto treat featuring a bluesy solo from band mainstay Keith Robinson followed by occasional dep Alexis Cairns...good stuff. Ms Grace returned to sing Maroon 5's Sunday Morning rearranged for big band, and, as AG observed, it was Hailey Tuck's chart that was first heard when Ms Tuck worked with the SSBB at Hoochie Coochie. 

Evenin' sang F'reez, Puttin' on the Ritz sang Alice, then...Pete Tanton came down front to sing. Did MD Lamb know about this?! Hey, Lamb couldn't have been other than impressed. Anyone familiar with Tanton's Riviera Quartet would know about Tanton's sweet vocal style and on this session, his own composition To Heaven Over Night made the case for its inclusion in a SSBB concert performance. 

The band's soloists did their thing, from Graham Don, piano, tenors Jamie Toms and Paul Gowland to Tanton blowing from the section. F'reez said good night asking Is you is and with the band punching out the riffs Alice Grace sang Get Happy. Listening to the Strictly Smokin' Big Band has that effect, it makes you happy. Next one at the Millstone is on August 30 but, before then, the band can be heard at this year's Ushaw Jazz Festival with special guest Alan Barnes on Sunday, August 26.           
Russell

Tom Rushton; Pete Tanton; Gordon Marshall; Ben Chinery (trumpets); Chris Grey; Mark Ferris; Tom Dowling (trombones); Jamie Toms, Paul Gowland; Keith Robinson; Alexis Cairns; Laurie Rangecroft (reeds); Pav Jedrzejewski (guitar); Graham Don (piano); Michael Whent (bass); Guy Swinton (drums); Alice Grace (vocals); F'reez (vocals)   

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