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Monday, October 21, 2019

The Darlington Big Band @ Dorman's Jazz Club Middlesbrough - October 17

(Review by Ron H)

18 top class musicians with a wealth of experience and led by tenor saxophonist Richie Emmerson played a wonderful selection of big band jazz standards to a packed and attentive audience making for a highly successful night.

A fine intro by Ted Pearce on keys and Alan Smith on bass  was made to a swinging Sammy Nestico arrangement of  Straight Ahead from the Basie album of the same name.

This was followed by Fun Time  from the same album setting the standard for the night.

After Alberto Dominguez's Frenesi, the beautiful ballad Laura, arranged by Lennie Niehaus for the Stan Kenton band, included a lovely trumpet solo by Bill Watson with all four muted trumpets then joining in.

So It May Secretly Begin, a Pat Metheny number arranged  by Bob Curnow, naturally included a very fine guitar solo from Eddie Maughan. A swinging Take the A Train arranged by Mark Taylor followed.

The theme from Taxi Driver featured  Ray Dales on alto sax whilst there were  nice trumpet and tenor solos from Kevin Eland and Richie Emmerson in Speak Low - an arrangement of this Kurt Weill/Ogden Nash tune by Bill Holman.

The first set was finished in fine style with Sammy Nestico's up tempo arrangement of Pressure Cooker featuring John Brett on tenor.

A great arrangement by John Clayton of Max, a very complex number by Jeff Hamilton, was well played with solos from Richie Emmerson tenor, Alan Thompson alto and Kevin Eland trumpet.

An up tempo version of Tenderly with fine trumpet solo from Bill Watson and then in complete contrast the beautiful ballad When I Fall In Love arranged by Alan Baylock played by the whole band without solos.

For Stan Kenton fans the band played Eager Beaver featuring John Brett on tenor.

A particular favourite of mine played next  was Benny Golson's I Remember Clifford featuring Bill Watson on flugel.

A fine Bill Holman big band arrangement of the jazz standard After You've Gone with a nice solo from Neville Hartley on trombone.

A beautiful number What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life by Legrand and Berryman featured Richie on tenor.

After Slaughter On 10th Ave. was played as a final number, an encore was demanded and this was a beautiful version of Cole Porter's Love For Sale again arranged by Nestico.

It was most impressive to see and hear this band play these sophisticated arrangements and I must apologise for not giving credit to more of the band members as all were capable of fine solo work.

I think that the full capacity and enthusiastic audience brought out the best in the band along with Richie both as a leader soloist and in between numbers an entertaining raconteur.

With many thanks to Dormans Club for their help and support in running the night.
Ron H.

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