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Bebop Spoken There

Lou Donaldson: "(On Art Blakey) Everything changed. Especially when the women came in, sat down in the front row, and raised their skirts above their knees. Then the drums got louder, the tempos got faster, and every tune was a drum solo" - (JazzTimes, November 2019.)

Archive

Today Saturday December 14

Afternoon

Jazz

Anth Purdy - Isabella Community Centre, Ogle Drive, Blyth NE24 5JF. Tel: 01670 543773. 11:00am-1:00pm. Free. Christmas Fair.

Jazz Attack - Sage Gateshead, St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. 3:30pm. Free (concourse). Young Musicians Live! YMP Winter Festival.

Jambone - Sage Gateshead, St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. 4:00pm. Free but ticketed (Sage Two). Young Musicians Live! YMP Winter Festival.

Evening

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regents Farm Road, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 284 3700. 8:00pm. £12.00. + bf. Second night of two.

Sold Out!

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Blues/Funk/Soul

Loft Boys - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

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

Monday, December 24, 2018

Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ Hoochie Coochie - Dec.23

(Review by Lance)
PHOTOS.

If you want to party then Hoochie is the place. If you want a big band then SSBB are top of the list. Put the two together and you have a night to remember! Last night was just such a night. 

It was a little over a week ago that I'd last heard the band doing more or less the same programme at Gosforth Civic Theatre and some may be forgiven for thinking, what's the point of doing it again? The point is that this band swings so much that if they played but one note for 12 or 16 bars you wouldn't feel cheated. And tonight, even with a few ringers in the line-up, the feeling was still there.

The dance floor was crowded as the band took off on a Sleigh Ride. Ding Dong Merrily on High with solos from PJ on guitar and Jamie Toms on tenor. The rhythm was as fascinating as the singer, no less than Alice Grace, who sang Fascinating Rhythm. Her male counterpart, F'reez, posed the question Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby? Leader Lamb's trumpet obligato setting the 1930's scenario although his subsequent solo moved up a decade or so. In the absence of Pete Tanton, ML bore the brunt of the trumpet solo-work which, as expected, he did admirably. Keith Robinson blew clarinet and the dancers danced.

Talking of dancers, Song For My Father attracted a swing dance couple to the floor. You could tell they were swing dancers by his braces, her gardenia and the way the other dancers gave them space to manouevre. Graham Don, Robinson and Lamb did some musical manouevring themselves.

It Had to Be You, sang F'reez whilst Alice became Lost in the Memory aided by Matt Forster on tenor. The set closed with I've Got Christmas - a potpourri of seasonal dishes that saw altoists Robinson and Kerridge locking horns before bringing the first set of three to a close.

The room was now full and nobody left - why would they? there was so much more to come!

Heat of the Moment, Time After Time (ah! that song...), Midnight Prayer from Alice. This Christmas, Evenin' and They Can't Take That Away From Me from F'reez and Cole Porter's I Love You with more fine trumpet from Lamb. The set closed with F'reez and Winter Weather which segued into I've Got my Love to Keep Me Warm. Evenin' saw what I think may have been the only trombone solo of the evening by Gurgi-Smith - he deserved more.

And so the third set came to pass and this one was 100% Cool Yule. Jingle Bells had an almost Nelson Riddle type intro with the bottom end instruments pumping away. Lamb once more excelled. Alice and F'reez went walking in a Winter Wonderland, the band brought Joy to the World, or at least to that part of the world that was encamped at Hoochie. Our two singers returned for my favourite song of seduction - Baby It's Cold Outside. Alice remained on stage for my favourite song of avarice - Santa Baby and the pair were reunited for my favourite song of seasonal betrayal - Last Christmas.

Of course, it wouldn't be Christmas without Tormé's The Christmas Song it never fails to bring a tear to my eye Mel's words, depicting a scene so far removed from the harsh reality of the other 364 days, takes us to a wonderful world of fantasy. Alice and F'reez did their part to perfection including the verse.

A great band, a great venue. My thanks to Warren, Michael and all the names listed below. Merry Christmas to y'all.
Lance.
PHOTOS.

Michael Lamb (MD), Billy Bradshaw, Gordon Marshall, Dick Stacey (trumpets); John Flood Kieran Parnaby, Chris Gurgi-Smith, Mark Ferris (trombones); Dave Kerridge, Keith Robinson, Jamie Toms, Matt Forster, Laurie Rangecroft (reeds); Graham Don (piano); Pawel Jedrzejewski (guitar); Michael Whent (bass guitar); Guy Swinton ((drums); Alice Grace, F'reez (vocals).

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