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Bebop Spoken There

Frank Sinatra: "Who is the worst living American? Jake LaMotta. He dumped the fight against Billy Fox, and never told his father, who bet his life savings on Jake. Lower than whale shit." - (John Brady: Frank & Ava In Love and War - Thomas Dunne Books 2015). A 1970 quote from a Pete Hamill interview.

Dave Rempis:Ten years from now, I can see musicians streaming concerts in real time and charging a minimal amount for people to watch.” - (DownBeat September 2013)

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11,644 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 779 of them this year alone and, so far, 43 this month (July 11).

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Jam Session @ the Black Swan - January 8.

(Review by Lance/PHOTOS.) 

Sixteen swingers at the first jam of 2019 and it set the bar high for the rest of the year not least when the house trio opened up with You'd be so Nice to Come Home to and You Don't Know What Love is. A couple of numbers that told the awaiting jammers that, if they fell on their ass it wouldn't be because of any shortcomings in the backing.

Nobody fell!

Ray Johnson was first up with Tangerine and Softly as in a Morning Sunrise. Alan Law introduced the former tune as "A Xmas song"!

Nick Gould, all the way from Edinburgh, made the trip worthwhile with There is no Greater Love and Body and Soul.


A new face, a new voice is always welcome and Jenny Kanellea made an impressive debut with Temptation (not the old Perry Como hit!) and Sway (the old Dean Martin hit). We look forward to hearing her again.

Tonight the onus was on the tenor sax or, to be more precise, four of them and number two was John Rowland who, undaunted by the tenor storm that had been blown up earlier, took us for a Blues Walk and I Wish I Knew How it Felt to be Free. Alan Law's solo added a lot of exclamation marks to my notebook. Matt MacKellar, on drums, had a few exclamation marks of his own on the score sheet. Matt returns to the venue on Thursday with Ben Lawrence, Andy Champion and Niffi Osiyemi.

The tenors kept a-coming with Ian White blowing Ricorda Me and Mr PC taken at only slightly slower than the speed of light. John Pope did some dextrous fingering on the latter number as befitted a tune dedicated to the late Paul Chambers.

A rare appearance by Dave Mckeague kept the rhythmic pulse high as those who'd waited patiently joined him on stage. These included yet another tenor player cum debutant - Grahame Easthope. Bearded, flat-capped and a handcrafted snout behind his ear he joined the fray along with "Showtime" on trombone and Todd on trumpet for the Roy Hargrove classic inspired by the Parisian metro station - Strasbourg/St. Denis. It was a blast.

In walked Stu who sat in on piano for Ladybird then In Walked Bud with Gould and Gray out front.

Ray Burns is never far away at a jam session and he made it in time to sing and play Sweet Lorraine.

The grand finale had Johnson, Gould, Gray and Rowland blowing on whatever it was but this I felt was an anti-climax. With four tenors, two trumpets and a trombone in the room this could have made for an all-out battle royal JATP style that could have gone on till midnight! But, time and tide etc.

It had still been a great evening.
Lance.
PS: On my journey home my Romanian cab driver was playing Rocket  Man.
"Do you like Elton John?" he asked.
I admitted I could take him or leave him. He then asked me which singers I listened to when I was younger.
"Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald" I replied.
"I've heard of them" he said and I wondered if he had.
PHOTOS.
Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (bass); Rob Walker (drums) + Ray Johnson, Elliott Todd (trumpets); David Gray (trombone); John Rowland, Nick Gould, Ian White, Grahame Easthope (tenor saxes); Stu Collingwood (piano); John Pope (bass); Matthew MacKellar, Dave McKeague (drums); Ray Burns (vocal/harmonica); Jenny Kanellea (vocals).

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