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Bebop Spoken There

Marc Myers: " If the original group with Baker was Dover sole, the group with Brookmeyer was beef stew." - (JazzWax, December 7, 2019).

Archive

Today Monday December 9

Afternoon

Jazz

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Evening

St Cuth’s Big Band - St Cuthbert’s Society, 12 South Bailey, Durham DH1 3EE. 8:00pm. Free (donations). St Cuth’s Big Band ‘Christmas Concert’. Concert in dining hall, licensed bar

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

House of the Black Gardenia @ The Old Coal Yard - September 27

(Review by Russell)

From Ellington through to a closing left hook landing squarely on the bonce of the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the House of the Black Gardenia owned the joint. It wasn't quite Duke gracing the Savoy Ballroom, more like Bobbi Charleston and her boys down the Old Coal Yard. 

Several large, chic industrial heaters warded off a chill autumn air, an air wafting street food vendors' oh-so-tempting pizzas across the Byker premises. Swing dancers gathered preparing to strut their stuff as drinkers queued at Northern Alchemy's no-frills bar. A pint of, hmmm...Passion Fruit and Pineapple Sour*. Okay, the band is on, Ellington (Keith Robinson a key Ellingtonian).

Blue DragRussian Caravan, familiar numbers, make that familiar welcome numbers, performed by a fantastic nine piece outfit, this evening featuring a dep and a new boy; with Showtime elsewhere the Gardenias had to make do - make do! - with the Tenements' Paddy Darley on trombone and, with Marcus Tham having returned home to the Far East, Elliott Rush occupied the piano stool. 

The multi-talented Gardenias interact with the audience to the extent that washboard queen Bobbi Charleston and violinist Katja Roberts always find time to sit-out on one or two numbers to partner a swing dance fan on the floor;  Bobbi on CW Stoneking's Handy Man Blues (Michael Littlefield's fabulous vocals), Katja on Graveyard Shift (Bobbi singing and scrubbing). Paddy Darley had a blast on a Liittlefield blues feature - Ain't it Hard - as did trumpet king Michael Lamb, plungering in old school style.

Second set, more of the same, this is one ace of a  band! Lots of material, an album is due soon (watch this space!); Lamb leading on Spider Crawl, drummer Kit Haigh coming down front to play Django-esque guitar, singing 'bout Liza with Littlefield alongside (there's a duo set in there somewhere!) and before we knew it Bobbi Charleston gave a good kicking (sadly only metaphorically) to 'the mother****** in the White House' with a killer Big, Big Man. An encore was demanded, of course it was, and, with boss bass man Neil Hopper directing the ensemble, Viper Mad once more filled the dancefloor.  
  
*Passion Fruit and Pineapple Sour could be said to be an acquired taste...you can't win 'em all!
Russell.

Bobbi Charleston (vocals, washboard); Michael Lamb (trumpet); Paddy Darley (trombone); Keith Robinson (soprano, alto, tenor saxophones, clarinet); Katja Roberts (violin); Elliott Rush (keyboards); Michael Littlefield (guitar, banjo, vocals); Neil Hopper (bass, sousaphone); Kit Haigh (drums, guitar, vocals)

2 comments :

Marcus Tham said...

Aww, wish i was there! I do sorely miss the whole Northeast Jazz scene very much. Thanks for writing these reviews Lance! It makes me feel closer to Newcastle from where i am halfway across the world in Singapore! :)

Lance said...

Marcus, we miss you too. Not just your great piano playing but your friendly personality. I must point out however, that this review was by my colleague Russell. Great to keep in touch and we'd love it if you could send news of gigs you play in Singapore. Best wishes.