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Bebop Spoken There

Anat Cohen: "With the tenor, it's so iconic with jazz. With the clarinet, I can improvise, but it doesn't have to be called jazz." - (DownBeat July 2019)

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Today Tuesday June 18

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Lickety Split - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB.Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

River City Jazzmen - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NW. Tel: 01670 813983 (info). 8:00pm. £5.00. (inc raffle). Line-up inc special guest Don Fairley (trombone).

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

Monday, May 06, 2019

Darlington Jazz Festival: New Century Ragtime Orchestra with Enrico Tomasso @ St Augustine's Parish Centre - May 4


(Review by Russell)

Jazz in the Quakerhouse, jazz along at Joseph Pease statue, jazz at St Augustine's...decisions, decisions. Opting for the latter, the Larchfield Street Parish Centre venue couldn't have been busier. Indeed the 100+ attendance set a new record at Darlington's flourishing New Orleans Jazz Club and little wonder with the New Century Ragtime Orchestra's star guests being none other than Enrico Tomasso, Nick Ward and Ruth Lambert. 

The full house lapped up two balanced sets of classic material and popular songs of the day interspersed with some vocal numbers from our vocal triumvirate. The New Century's 'boy vocalist' Jim McBriarty led the way in the vocal stakes singing My Sweet Tooth Says Yes (but my Wisdom Tooth Says No). A good start, there would be more singing from McBriarty and the band's special guests. 
The classic material included Black and Tan Fantasy with, as MC Steve Andrews explained, the saxophone solo harmonised for the reeds' section - Messrs Andrews, Gavin Lee, Alan Marshall, the aforementioned McBriarty and the exceptional Tomasso (trumpet and Louis Armstrong-like vocals). West End Blues is one of those iconic numbers that most trumpeters likely as not shy away from but not Tomasso! An approximation of Armstrong's legendary performance would have sufficed yet hearing Tomasso's masterful recreation at this year's Darlington Jazz Festival will take some beating! 

The Benny Moten Kansas City Orchestra's Rumba Negro, more Ellington with, as Andrews teased his bandmates, Arthur Whetsol, Barney Bigard and 'Tricky' Sam Nanton (actually Tomasso, Lee and Neville Hartley!) playing Black Beauty and a superb Patrol Wagon Blues with Red Allen trumpet and vocals by Rico Tomasso accompanied by percussion wizard Nick Ward's immaculate brushwork were just three highlights during an afternoon of highlights.  

The NCRO's guest band vocalist Ruth Lambert sat to one side chuckling along with the crowded room as MC Andrews kept the one-liners coming. From time to time the Tyneside-based singer, rightly described by Andrews as 'one of England's premier vocalists', joined the ensemble to sing a selection including That's You, BabyMad about the Boy and, in an unexpected departure, a wonderful small group (most of the boys vacated the stage seeking liquid refreshment) vocal rendition of Skylark accompanied by Andrew's fluttering, soaring clarinet. 

Gone three o'clock the New Century Ragtime Orchestra said good afternoon to an appreciative, attentive audience with a rousing Limehouse Blues.
Russell                 
New Century Ragtime Orchestra: Jim McBriarty, Alan Marshall, Gavin Lee, Steve Andrews (reeds); Enrico Tomasso (trumpet, vocals); Dave Hignett (trumpet); Neville Hartley (trombone); Colin Haikney (piano); Keith Stephen (guitar, banjo); Phil Rutherford (tuba); Nick Ward (drums); Ruth Lambert (vocals)

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