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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)

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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.

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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