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Thursday, November 22, 2018

The Radio Pensacola Band @ Dormans Jazz Club Middlesbrough - Nov.15

Kevin Eland (trumpet); Donna Hewitt (tenor sax/clarinet); Django (tenor sax/vocals); Dave Archbold (keys); Ron Smith (bass); and Mark Hawkins (drums).
 (Review by Ron H)

A special guest night with Radio Pensacola led by Kevin Eland who played music mainly from the '20s '30s and '40s. I'm not sure where the band's name came from other than that there is a radio station of that name in Florida so maybe it relates to someone's holidays or harks back to when Kevin was working the cruise ships.

Straighten Up and Fly Right followed by Ain't Misbehavin' got the evening underway. Both had vocals from Django and nice solos from Donna on tenor and Ron on bass.

A fine arrangement, this time from 1963, of Kenny Burrell's Chitlins Con Carne with Donna on clarinet, Django on tenor and a paint-stripping trumpet solo from Kevin.

Basin St. Blues; a quirky version of Anything Goes with vocals from Django; a  feature for Donna's clarinet on the old Monty Sunshine favourite, Sidney Bechet's Petite Fleur; Gee Baby, Ain't I Good To You?)
Nat King Cole's Frim Fram  Sauce, and 
Midnight in Moscow, went down well before the first half was brought a close with an up tempo version of Fly Me to the Moon.


Second set

After Stars Fell On Alabama, the band stayed in the deep south with Hard Hearted Hannah; an entertaining King of the Swingers - set up by Mark on drums - Bessie Smith's Baby, Won't You Please Come Home?; Girl From Ipanema; Lets Fall in Love, the tongue twisting Nagasaki; and then, for the encore, Vo-do-do-de-o Blues bringing the performance to a close.

The band went down well with an enthusiastic audience and these fine musicians, under the leadership of Kevin and with the flamboyant and witty vocals of Django, made for a first class evening of entertainment.
Ron H.

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