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COVID-19

In the current climate we are doing our best to keep everyone up to date. All gigs, as we all know, are off.

However, good old YouTube has plenty to offer both old and new to help us survive whilst housebound. Plus now is a good time to stock up on your CDs.

Also, keep an eye out for live streaming sessions.

Alternatively, you could do as they do in Italy and sing from your balcony.

Today

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.

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Jake Walker Orchestra @ The Black Swan, Newcastle - July 8


Jake Walker Orchestra: Cedric De Lat (trumpet); Tobias Storme (trombone); Warre Van de Putte (tenor saxophone); Ruben Van Bost (clarinet, tenor sax, soprano sax); Wouter 'Wally' Van den Broeck (piano); Pieter Mortier (string bass); Wannes 'Wannie' Cornelis (drums).
(Review by Russell)

Gig of the year, as simple as that. Jake Walker or, to give the band its full name, the Jake Walker Orchestra, arrived on Tyneside midway through a first British tour. On the evidence of this Newcastle performance, it'll be the first of many.  

Jake Walker's tour itinerary found the band with a blank date - Sunday in Edinburgh, Tuesday in Edinburgh, what to do on Monday? In stepped Newcastle Arts Centre to offer the Belgian swing septet a gig in the Black Swan venue on Westgate Road. Those concerned should be congratulated on taking a punt, it paid off handsomely. 


A number of dyed-in-the-wool jazz fans joined a sizeable contingent of swing dancers drawn from across Tyneside and, encouragingly, Durham University Swing Society. Jake Walker is a young, conservatoire-trained outfit dedicated to performing swing-era charts. Taking the stage in penguin suits the band hit the ground running - think Basie Kansas City Six or Seven. In a nutshell C Jam Blues all night long would just about sum up this fantastic band. From the downbeat, the arrangements by pianist Wouter 'Wally' Van den Broeck were bang-on the money as string bassist Pieter Mortier dropped anchor alongside rhythm section partner, drummer Wannes 'Wannie' Cornelis. 

From the off the floor filled with dancers - stompin', swingin' numbers, ensemble and soloists absolutely superb on such as Jive at FiveShiny StockingsLi'l Darlin' and a first set closer, a seriously hot Sheik of Araby. Musicianship of the highest order from a band of twenty/thirty somethings, this was impressive stuff alright. All shone, to single out one would be invidious but, hey, how about tenor saxophonist Warre van de Putte? Quite brilliant. Had he beeen around some seventy five years ago Basie would have had him in the band in a trice! 

I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart (yet more superb tenor from Van de Putte), Rose Room, drummer Wannes 'Wannie' Cornelis swinging a Kansas City blues, Duke in the form of I'm Beginning to See the Light, some Benny G in the shape of Don't Be That Way and more - Stompin' at the Savoy (Van den Broeck's ace piano playing), the second set matched the first - superb! 

As Sing, Sing, Sing closed the show the Black Swan audience wanted another number; One more tune! One more tune! The Jake Walker Orchestra acceded to the demand sending the swing dancing crowd on its way with Jeep's Blues. Gig of the year, as simple as that.     
Russell

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