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Bebop Spoken There

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Monday, October 22, 2018

Middlesbrough Jazz Weekender 2018: Mingus Big Band @ Middlesbrough Town Hall - Oct. 21.

(Review by Lance)
To hear the Mingus Big Band, not once, but twice, within the space of days may, to some, seem like overkill!
Not so.
The atmosphere at Ronnie's on Thursday and Middlesbrough last night was one and the same - unbridled enthusiasm. And, surprisingly, there weren't many overlaps between the two programmes and those that did were well-worth hearing again.
The last time I attended a concert in the pre-renovated Town Hall was back in the mid-seventies when the Stan Kenton Orchestra played there. In all honesty, I think the MBB is the best big band I've heard since - maybe even before then. 
It was simply sensational.


They avoided the well-known Mingus items in favour of some of the lesser-known pieces from the great bassists 300+ compositions which made it an exciting voyage of discovery.
Each and everyone soloed and none were found wanting - it was only the packed auditorium who wanted more.
If I have to single out one, and I should really single out fourteen, it was Lauren Sevian on baritone. This fine musician handles the unwieldy instrument as if it was an alto and displays a fluency to match.
Simply earth-shattering band. The mood swings in a number, sometimes in a chorus, sometimes within a few bars, is awesome. Over a lifetime of listening to big bands I thought I'd passed the jaw-dropping, gobsmacked stage. Not this night (or on Thursday). For a couple of hours, I was a kid again hearing Ellington for the first time at Newcastle Odeon. Or, a little older, hearing all those names at Ayresome Park - their ghosts were all around us and I'm not talking Wilf Mannion! 
Lance
Photos
Mingus Big Band: Alex Sipiagin, Philip Harper, Alex Norris (trumpets); Andy Hunter, Conrad Herwig (trombones); Earl  McIntyre (bass trombone); Abraham Burton (tenor sax), Wayne Escoffrey (tenor sax); Alex Terrier (alto sax), Brandon Wright (alto sax); Lauren Sevian (baritone sax); Helen Sung (piano); Boris Kozlov (double bass); Donald Edwards (drums).

2 comments :

John Nesbitt (on F/b) said...

An amazing spectacle. Loved every minute.

Sue Finn (on F/b) said...

An amazing night!

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