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Friday, November 23, 2018

Harlem Bound with Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms - Nov 23

Maureen Hall (vocals); Jim McBriarty (clarinet, vocals); Don Fairley (trombone); Malcolm Armstrong (keyboards); George Davidson (drums, vocals) + Doris Fenn (banjo)
(Review by Russell) 

Fresh from another successful weekend away in Bellingham Maureen Hall's Rendezvous Jazz reported for duty at the Monkseaton Arms ready to resume the band's ever-popular weekly residency. 

It was good to see Don Fairley back on the stand, taking his seat alongside Jim McBriarty, either side of band leader Maureen Hall. That Teasin' Rag got things underway, Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans? with Hall's vocals, then drummer George Davidson singing Hello Dolly, a typically varied Rendezvous Jazz setlist. 

Rockin' Chair, Hall again, this time singing We Shall Walk Through the City (Don Fairley's quicksilver trombone solo), the London Pride tasting just fine, a nice way to spend an hour or two down at the coast. Raffle time, nothing new to report there. 
 Clarinettist Jim McBriarty sings a tune or two and he opened the second set with It Don't Mean a Thing (if it Ain't Got That Swing) with the great Doris Fenn sitting-in on banjo. Hall offered a measured reading of As Time Goes By supported by the fine instrumentalists at her side. Our band leader went on to offer McBriarty his clarinet part for Harlem Bound...or so she thought.* The band proceeded to play the tune with more than one raised eyebrow in the ranks. Something wasn't quite right. It took a while until Hall realised she'd handed McBriarty the alto sax part. Much hilarity ensued.   

Baby, Won't You Please Come Home? vied for the highlight of the afternoon, pianist Malcolm Armstrong was his mischevious self during the session, at one point throwing in two bars of Jingle Bells (howay, man, it's only November 23!), Hall singing Bill Bailey restored a semblance of order and as three o'clock approached When You're Smiling sent us on our way.
Russell

As your correspondent made to leave, bandleader Hall asked/attempted to bribe Bebop Spoken Here not to mention the Harlem Bound episode. It should be made clear that BSH reports without fear or favour, telling it as it is. Although, come to think of it, a pint of London Pride could have bought its silence!   

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