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Friday, July 06, 2018

Taylor Smith & The Roamin' Jasmine @ Kommunity - July 5

Taylor Smith (double bass/vocals); Georgi Petrov (guitar); Darius Blanton (drums); Jose Holloway (trumpet); Peter Gustorfson (trombone).
(Review by Lance).
Here in Newcastle, we have got many New Orleans bands and none who are actually from the Crescent City itself. However, last night that all changed at Kommunity, a trendy Market St. bar and venue where the local dance group Swing Tyne welcomed, all the way from the Big Easy (via Scarborough), Taylor Smith and The Roamin' Jasmine.
Authentic, contemporary, sounds of yesterday played today. No squeaky liquor stick, raspy tailgate tram, washboard, tuba, slap bass or clunking banjo to send you back out into the night. Instead, it was bassist Smith leading from the front singing in a slightly nasal, but not unpleasant, voice, whilst playing bass alongside the full, round tones of the two horns, electric guitar that had maybe dropped by Nashville en route and some solid drumming from Blanton who had surely paraded along South Rampart St. in his time.
The material consisted of some good ol' good ones that Taylor and the boys transformed into good noo good ones without losing the original feel.
Muddy Water was more Muddy Waters than Bing Crosby and perhaps based on the Bessie Smith version. After You've Gone (complete with verse) was another number at one time associated with Bessie. A Big Maybelle number moved us into R'n'B territory; There Will Never Be Another You; an original; Well I Done Got Over it; Blues Shuffle Heart, all foot-tapping fun showing off the band's collective and individual talents. Blues Shuffle Heart had some stunning four bar exchanges between trumpet and trombone that was so much more exciting than the formulaic round of fours between drummer and whoever that invariably bores the pants off me. This musical exchange ensured I kept my pants on! Whilst all this magic was being conjured up on stage, down on the floor, the Swing Tyne dancers were performing their own mysterious art, just as they had done earlier to records by the Metronome All-Stars (Sweet Lorraine w. Frank, Hodges, Shavers etc.); Ellington; BG; Fats and others. My kind of disco or should I say Record Hop?
The set finished with Exactly Like You and It Can't be Me.
An insipid pint of Bud Light, a quick chat with Taylor Smith then back into the groove with Roll on Mississippi Roll on, a song about whisky (I Got Loaded?) then I'm Confessin' by which time I had to leave to hop an eastbound freighter (number 27 bus). It had been yet another evening of unadulterated musical pleasure.
PS: Prior to the gig, walking down Northumberland St., I heard someone singing I'm Thru With Love. Must be coming from the HMV store, I thought, then I remembered, the HMV store was no more. I looked about me and there was this attractive young, long blonde-haired, girl busking, singing to a backing tape. Must return to Northumberland St. singers of this calibre are rare.


carstairs said...

I was there with just two of the North East's jazz supporters. Where were they? Great gig!
Come to that, where are the Swing Tyne people at Jazz gigs? Perhaps there is an essential difference in audience expectations ( and massive age difference?)

Lance said...

I'd never been to Kommunity before and when 'er indoors asked me where I was going? I mistakenly replied Kommunications. She didn't look happy.
When I returned she asked me if I'd kommunicated...

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