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Bebop Spoken There

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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.

Thursday, March 05, 2020

BBC Big Band @ The Gala Theatre, Durham - March 4

(By Russell)

The British jazz scene has its share of fine big bands and the BBC Big Band stands comparison with the best of them. MD Barry Forgie has been running the outfit for more than thirty years and one or two members of the band have also been around for a long time. Some of the band are relative newcomers but all share one thing in common - they're the tops! Durham's Gala Theatre filled up nicely ahead of the down beat and as the show's publicity suggested it was to be an evening of the music of 'Swing Legends'. 

The Dorseys, Hampton, Miller, Basie, Ellington, Kenton to dangerously modern Gordon Goodwin, the BBC Big Band handled the varied material with ease. Trumpeters Mike Lovatt and Martin Shaw were called down to the front of the stage to stand in the spotlight - first Lovatt (fresh from a stupendous gig with the Strictly Smokin' Big Band at Sage Gateshead) to recreate Harry James' 1941 hit You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want to Do It) then Shaw playing flugelhorn from a transcription of Stan Kenton's version of Lush Life

During the evening Barry Forgie offered a few anecdotes including the fact that many of Kenton's original charts have long been lost which prompted some dedicated individuals to painstakingly transcribe parts of otherwise fairly familiar material. Our MD forewarned the Miller fans present that there would be an excursion into Dizzy bop territory. Good! The rhythm section flew - pianist Tom Gibbs dazzled with bassist Jeremy Brown a towering presence alongside the brilliant big band drumming of Tom Gordon. Hamp's Flying Home featured vibes man Anthony Kerr and after a couple of hours of non-stop action MD Forgie thought they couldn't go without playing Basie's signature tune - One O'Clock Jump.  
Russell       

BBC Big Band: Barry Forgie MD; ?, Mike Lovatt, Andy Greenwood, Martin Shaw (trumpets); Jacob Cooper, ?, Gordon Campbell, Richard Henry (trombones); ?, Munch Manship, Colin Skinner, Sammy Mayne, ? (reeds); Chris Allard (guitar); Anthony Kerr (vibes); Tom Gibbs (piano); Jeremy Brown (double bass); Tom Gordon (drums) 

1 comment :

Patti said...

Another excellent review from BSH - and this was one of those gigs, for sure! I'm reminded though, from the comment about Glenn Miller - how many jazzers will know about his hot trombone on that late 1920's Mound City Blue Blowers' record - Hello Lola! Hot trombone from Mr Miller, and storming hotter than hot sax break from a certain Coleman Hawkins. Incidentally, this was one of that old sage Philip Larkin's all-time favourite jazz recordings!

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