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Bebop Spoken There

Randy Brecker: "It's still a thrill for me today to stand out front of a big band as the soloist and hear all that sound going on behind you. It brings the best out of me" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Tuesday May 21

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Kamasi Washington - Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4461. 7:30pm. £30.00.

River City Jazzmen w. Maureen Hall - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NN. Tel: 01670 813983. 8:00pm. £5 (raffle inc.) Bob Wade, Gordon Solomon, Keith Stephen, Phil Rutherford, Tommy Graham.

Lindsay Hannon Band - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB.Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

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

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Middlesbrough Jazz Weekender 2018: Big Chris Barber Band @ Middlesbrough Town Hall - October 20

Big Chris Barber Band: Chris Barber (trombone, vocals); Bob Hunt (trombone, trumpet, arrangements); Mike Henry (trumpet, cornet); Pete Rudeforth (trumpet, vocals); Nick White (saxophones, clarinet); Ian Killoran (saxophones, clarinet); Bert Brandsma (saxophones); Joe Farler (banjo, guitar); John Day (double bass); John Watson (drums)
(Review by Russell) 


The man was there at 'Newport' Middlesbrough. That was back in 1978. Down the years the trombone-playing band leader has given concerts in the town but this 'Jazz Weekender' engagement acknowledged that historic occasion forty years ago and signalled the prospect, the possibility, of an annual Middlesbrough jazz festival for the twenty-first century. 

Chris Barber, eighty-eight years young, took to the stage with his ten-piece band to play the music he's been playing for something like seven decades. The line-up has changed, likewise the programme with a significant element of Ellington and small group swing numbers. One thing hasn't changed - Chris Barber's obvious love of the music. 


From the opening Bourbon Street Parade to the closing When the Saints Go Marching in, Barber was in his element, hunched over his instrument, blowing good, taking his cue for his in-between-numbers announcements from loyal sidekick Bob Hunt. Rent Party BluesJubilee Stomp, Ellingtonia vied with N'Awlins' favourites in a packed set list. 

A little like a Duracell battery powered toy, Barber would, given the chance, keep going all night. Precious Lord, take my hand sang the band leader, the phrasing that of the American jazz and blues singers Barber so reveres. Goin' Home sang Barber. Ah, not quite, Mr Barber, the boys in the band weren't heading home, they were going to play more Duke - East St Louis Toodle-oo and Merry-Go-Round - then head to the bar for an interval drink! 

A bottle of Black Sheep or some other backstage tipple then the Big Chris Barber Band returned to the stage. Black and Tan Fantasy featured Barber, C Jam Blues won huge applause, the band leader led a chorus of Cornbread, Peas and Black Molasses - a tasty selection. 

Barber's legendary mumbled announcements were reassuringly intact: Thank you, mmm, now, mmm, the Harlem Hamfats, yes, mmm, Kansas Joe, Papa Charlie, mmm, good, What You Gonna Do? Thankfully, Barber's band knew the running order and so it was - What You Gonna Do? Ah, the band...first class, that's the band. Fellow 'bone man Bob Hunt takes care of the arrangements and the seven-strong frontline - long-serving Mike Henry alongside Pete Rudeforth blew some great trumpet, and to their right the reedsmen, Dutchman Bert Brandsma, Scotsman Ian Killoran and on the end of the line, multi-reeds wizard Nick White - took it in turn to bask in the limelight. The rhythm section boys had their moments too - Joe Farler strumming banjo then guitar, string bass man John Day (ex Acker Bilk) and the immaculate (musically speaking) John Watson (drums). 

For those who hadn't heard the Big Chris Barber Band for a while, it perhaps came as a surprise to hear All Blues. One thing is for sure, Miles wouldn't have been other than complimentary. Rockin' in Rhythm brought the show to a close save for The Saints and an inevitable, and fully deserved, encore.     

Russell 

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