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Bebop Spoken There

Brian Harvey: "The exciting day arrived and we [as under age school boys] snuck into the [pub's] rehearsal room, sat awkwardly to attention on hard chairs in a row facing the band and heard our first - very loud - live jazz. What an occasion that was - we even drank beer because we understood that's what jazz people did and that's what the band were drinking." - (Just Jazz June 2020)

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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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, March 27, 2019

The Bold Big Band @ the Dun Cow, Jesmond - March 26

(Review/PHOTOS by Lance),

Wow! This is a band!! It's just over 12 months to the day since last I heard them during which time, as with any predominantly student based outfits, there have been changes. However, as in all walks of life, nobody's indispensable and the new ensemble delivered with style and grace.

Jimmy Jefford, the previous MD, got the best out of the band leading from the front and throwing in some killer solos. Simon Hirst, the current MD is less flamboyant but equally effective and, if you wanted killer solos then Jordan Alfonso, James Cuxson and Tom Alcorn were the foremost assassins, although most of the others weren't far behind.

Apart from the soloists, the sections were tight with no noticeable jagged edges. Every modern big band these days has a wadge of Gordon Goodwin arrangements in the pad and the Bold Big Band is no exception. His Count Bubba had some precision playing by the individual sections as well as a sizzler of a solo from Alfonso. 

Brass Machine saw all three trumpets trading choruses bringing Ellington's Trumpet No End to mind. Nutville, from the pen of Horace Silver, had new drummer Joe Reid working out. Impressive. Surprisingly, Work Song was pure ensemble.

Osiyemi is fast becoming an established name on the local vocal scene. Niffi is knocking just about everyone out at her trio gigs and brother Ifede who, when not playing bass guitar with this band, is out front singing standards. L-O-V-E; Lady is a Tramp; Way You Look Tonight and Mack the Knife are tonight's numbers and they were performed well although volume could have been turned up a bit more.

Other numbers included C Jam Blues with trombone from Bertie Marks, tenor from Alexis Cairns  - who also provided the personnel info - and alto from David Johnson. Mercy, Mercy, Mercy introduced Sam Fox and, being a Buddy Rich chart, Joe Reid on drums - no pressure there then!

Alex Utting brought his bass trombone to the surface for Wave and leader Hirst was featured on  Sammy Nestico's Switch in Time. Somebody's Gotta Do It was a new one on me - it showcased Bertie and Alexis.

The early start meant an early finish - possibly to appease the nearby residents - but not before the Bold Big Band went out on a rousing Watermelon Man. Quite appropriate as I'd had watermelon for tea! However, succulent as it was, it was nowhere near as tasty as the solos served up by Jordan and James on alto and guitar respectively.

The word circulating in the leafy glades of Jesmond is of a three (big) band bash scheduled for June at a nearby restaurant. Details will be made known when finalised.
Lance.
Jordan Alfonso, David Johnson, Sam Fox, Alexis Cairns, Sam Wicks (saxes); Simon Hirst (MD), Bertie Marks, (trombones); Alex Utting (bass trombone); Danny Wilson, Oli Presland, Tom Alcorn (trumpets); Harry Knott (keys), James Cuxson (guitar), Ifede Osiyemi (bass guitar/vocals); Joe Reid (drums).

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