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Bebop Spoken There

Veronica Swift: "The gigs will be coming back because people need music. Your political system and your economy can fail you but what's the one thing that people always turn to?." - (DownBeat November 2020)

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Postage

12,127 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1267 of them this year alone and, so far, 109 this month (Nov. 25).

Thursday November 26

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GUY SWINTON, BEVERLEY CHURCH HOGAN & BRIAN LITTLEFAIR (ex J.G. Windows)

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Dave Rae's Levee Ramblers New Orleans Jazz Band @ Springwell Village Community Venue - September 18

Dave Rae (banjo, vocals); Bob Wade (trumpet, clarinet); Jim McBriarty (clarinet, vocals); Jim Blenkin (trombone); John Robinson (double bass)
(Review by Russell)

Dave Rae's Springwell session is one of the region's enduring residencies. Wednesday evening, week in, week out, the Levee Ramblers bring a touch of New Orleans to the Borough of Gateshead. From time to time the core band is augmented by the presence of a guest star or, as was the case this week, in the the absence of three of its members (the Bacons, Liz and Paul, and Mick Hill) top class guests/deps made welcome appearances.

Clarinetist Jim McBriarty depped for Liz B, trumpeter Bob Wade for Mick Hill and, interestingly, the Ramblers chose not to draft in a dep for drummer Paul B. So, it would be a three-horn front line supported by a two-string rhythm section of Dave Rae, banjo, and string bass man John Robinson. The set list comprised the tried and tested and that is no bad thing as the Levee Ramblers play it better than most - 'it' being the music of the pioneering musicians of the twenties and thirties. 
Basin Street BluesSouth (Benny Moten's Kansas City Orchestra), Canal Street Blues, a Bixian Jazz Me Blues - enduring tunes played by a top class outfit. Guest Bob Wade led the line and, by way of a bonus, added something extra to proceedings - the 'extra' being Wade's individual take on the role of the instrument; a teasing succession of squeezed valves capped by an explosive flourish.  

Jim McBriarty is known for his ability to play most of the reeds, all to a high standard, but here at Springwell Village Community Venue he restricted himself to clarinet with an occasional vocal feature for good measure. Baby Won't You Please Come Home? a vocal number, likewise I Want a Little Girl, the audience liked what it was hearing, no more so than on a feature number (Wade and trombonist Jim Blenkin retired to the bar) - Blues for Jimmie (Noone).

The boss, birthday boy Mr Dave Rae, took a back seat, literally, in the absence of Paul Bacon's drum kit, playing his usual classy banjo parts alongside the imperturbable John Robinson. A Levee Ramblers' gig is a guarantee of quality and one number above all illustrated this - a marvellous two-clarinet (Wade doubling) reading of Creole Love Call. Yes, this was good stuff alright and with stomping versions of Muskrat Ramble and a set-closing Tiger Rag thrown in for good measure, it all added up to a great night's entertainment.   
Russell

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