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Bebop Spoken There

Art Hirahara: "Playing with people is the most important thing to me, and not playing with people is torture." - (DownBeat August, 2020)

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11,763 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 903 of them this year alone and, so far, 40 this month (August 10).

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August

Tuesday 11: Happy Birthday Dave Hignett & Peter King (80).

Thursday 13: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Sweet & Hot @ Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club - May 18

Sweet & Hot: Jeff Barnhart (piano, vocals); Anne Barnhart (flute, vocals); Spats Langham (guitar, banjo, vocals); Graham Smith (drums, washboard)
(Review by Russell)

The Barnharts have been up and down the motorways on the first of their two extensive annual tours, Spats Langham has been busy crisscrossing Europe and Graham Smith has been putting the finishing touches to this year's Pershore Jazz Festival. Busy though they are the four friends made time to play a few Sweet and Hot gigs with Darlington's St Augustine's Parish Centre a favourite on the itinerary.     

Once again the larger-than-life Jeff Barnhart found time to say hello to everyone - a not inconsiderable number! - including a visit to the kitchen as staff were taking dozens of orders for teas and coffees. Soundcheck complete, Jeff and his other half Anne were joined by Spats Langham and Graham Smith to open the first of two sets with Everbody Loves My Baby. Typically upbeat, just the sort of start one would expect. More staples followed - Blue SkiesPineapple RagBlack and White Rag (think Pot Black, BBC 2), Rubber Plant Rag (it would become better known as The Coffee Grinder), yes, the punters got what they wanted and more...

The extra dimension to this Saturday lunchtime concert came in the form of flautist and singer Anne Barnhart. The presence of the conservatoire-trained flautist presented the quartet with an opportunity to include a couple of numbers which would otherwise be the preserve of bop-era musicians - On Green Dolphin Street (Spats playing banjo!) and Bernie's Tune and majestic Township jazz from Abdullah Ibrahim (Water from an Ancient Well), the latter featuring Anne Barnhart's sensitive flute playing.  

Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club's many loyal supporters certainly got a varied bill of fayre which, for your BSH correspondent, wasn't bettered all afternoon by Spats Langham singing Brownie McGhee's Born with the Blues. Spats with his trusty, battered six-string acoustic guitar and voice - truly memorable.   
Russell

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