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Thursday, May 09, 2019

Customs House Big Band @ Dormans Jazz Festival Middlesbrough - May 2

(Review by Ron H)

The series of guest bands contributing to the Mini Jazz Festival was brought to a close with a magnificent performance by the Customs House Big Band led by Peter Morgan and with Ruth Lambert on vocals  playing to a capacity and enthusiastic audience.

Starting the first set with Recuedos from the Stan Kenton’s Cuban Fire album and fine solos from Mick Hill, Dave Brocklesby and Jim McBriarty on tenor, gave the audience a flavour of what was to be an exciting night of big band music.

Gershwin’s There's A Boat That’s Leaving Soon For New York had an excellent alto solo from Alan Marshall and Bob Florence's Nobody's Human featured a fine piano solo from John Stevenson.

Ruth Lambert took centre stage to sing The Very Thought Of You, following  it with a swinging Our Love Is Here To Stay.

Interesting arrangements of Bluer Than Blue, Blue Bossa and Ruth Lambert’s moving version of The Man I Love, before the first set was brought to a close with a great  version of Basically Blues with a fine trombone solo from Neville Hartley.

Bob Florence's arrangement of Afternoon of a Prawn got things rolling again before moving on to Monk's take on Sweet Georgia BrownBright Mississippi - with solos from all the big hitters.

Ruth returned to sing That Ole' Devil Called Love and Almost Like Being In Love in her usual inimitable way. After the relaxed Easy Street, A Narrow Escape featured Bradley Johnston, an excellent drum solo from Abbie Finn and bass from Karen Maughan. 

Don't Know Why, a modern ballad, was beautifully sung by Ruth before the night almost ended with Steppin' Out before Ruth stepped up for the encore – Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhapssinging the version used as the theme tune in the TV series Coupling.

This excellent band led by Peter Morgan on bass trombone brought the mini-festival to an end giving a delighted audience a night to remember.

I must apologize to the musicians that I failed to mention as I was so engrossed in listening to the band to make more than quick notes.

Once again, thanks go to Dormans Club for their help and support.
Ron H

Bob Temple, Mick Hill, Ken DeVere, Ben Chinnery, (trumpets); Dave Brocklesby, Neville Hartley, Michael Fletcher, Peter Morgan (M.D.) (trombones); Alan Marshall, Sue Hurrell, Jim McBriarty, Josh Bentham, Chris Kaberry, (saxes); John Stephenson (piano); Karen Maughan (bass); Abbie Finn (drums); Bradley Johnston (guitar); Ruth Lambert (vocals).

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