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Bebop Spoken There

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11,755 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 895 of them this year alone and, so far, 32 this month (August 9).

Coming soon ...

August

Monday 10: Happy Birthday Paul Edis.

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

Thursday, August 01, 2019

The Fred Thompson All Stars @ Cullercoats Crescent Club - July 31

Jim McBriarty (tenor sax, soprano sax, vocals); Don Armstrong (clarinet, alto sax, sopranino sax, tin whistle); Brian Chester (keyboards); Bill Colledge (bass); Fred Thompson (drums, vocals) + Alan Armstrong (harmonica)
(Review by Russell)

Wot? No Vieux Carre? As the Big Cheese (Mr B Bennett) was away the Fred Thompson All Stars came out to play.  Jim McBriarty as acting MC, Don Armstrong in from Oz, J McB said today's gig would take the form of a saxophone quartet. This was lost on one or two of the Crescent Club's Wednesday crowd until J McB pointed out the obvious - on the stand were four reeds...tenor, soprano, clarinet and the little heard sopranino. Wot? Nee banjo? I'm gannin' yem! 
The Wednesday regulars remained in their seats willing to give the 'All Stars' (well, they needed a stage name!) a hearing and, what's more, they'd already got the beers in and ordered cheese toasties. Someday You'll Be Sorry suggested McB, good tenor from the man, and equally good clarinet from his frontline partner Don Armstrong. The rhythm section took on a familiar look - Brian Chester, piano, Bill Colledge, bass and singing drummer Fred Thompson, he of new found 'All Stars' fame. 

From here on in the reeds switched from alto to tenor, tenor to clarinet, alto to sopranino, to...you get the idea. Our man from Oz, Don Armstrong, had another trick up his sleeve or rather in his pocket, but more of that anon. Beale Street Blues with DA wailing on sopranino, then, that trick up his sleeve...from his trouser pocket Armstrong produced - Can you guess what it was? (Aussie accent for full effect)...no, not a didgeridoo, a tin whistle, on Rosetta

Fred 'All Stars' Thompson chipped in with a vocal on You Can Depend on Me, more tin whistle on Avalon and measured tenor from McB and woody clarinet from DA on a respectful Just a Closer Walk, yes, the VCJ's loyal followers were liking what they were hearing. 

The interval; another pint (from 'the wood'!) of Grainger Ale, a raffle ticket (nee luck, why bother?!), and we were soon underway again. Washington and Lee Swing (FT voc), Creole Love Call (DA soprano, then clarinet, was this Edgar Sampson or Otto Hardwicke?), a J McB vocal on You're Nobody's Sweetheart Now, things were going well. Look at the time...it was a quarter to three (pm not Sinatra wee small hours am), almost time to go. FT sang about that old Rockin' Chair before the All Stars signed-off with a rousing Ice Cream featuring FT and J McB's shared vocals. 

It had been a banjo-free afternoon. Fear not (in)sanity will be restored next week with the return of the Vieux Carre Jazzmen.          

* Translation available upon request. 
 Russell

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