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Bebop Spoken There

Charlie Musselwhite: "I used to see these posters in the windows of the [Chicago] blues clubs advertising Elmore James and Muddy Waters which knocked me out. I was making a note of the addresses and at night I'd go back and listen to the blues until 4-5 in the morning." - (Blues Matters! Aug/Sep 2021)

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13,530 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 948 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (July 31).

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Album review: Tenement Jazz Band - Tenement Jazz Band Goes South

Chuck Deerness (trumpet); Paddy Darley (trombone); Steven Feast (reeds); John Youngs (banjo, guitar); Doug Kemp (double bass)


The Tenement Jazz Band came out of nowhere. It was at the beginning of 2018 when the band first registered on BSH's radar. A matter of weeks later the Edinburgh based outfit made a first visit to Tyneside. On that occasion Prohibition Bar was crowded and subsequent appearances on Tyneside and a sold out concert at Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club enhanced a rapidly growing, word-of-mouth reputation.
New Orleans Wiggle documented the Tenements' early days (the EP was recorded at The Maltings, Berwick) and now there is a CD to enjoy. Four of the five Tenements are thirtysomethings with recent recruit Steven Feast of an earlier generation. The Tenement Jazz Band Goes South conjours an image of a road trip to the Deep South (NOLA and all that), in reality the five piece band made a succession of raids south of the border into England, recording gigs along the way. A brief introduction hears John Youngs speaking to an audience - at an unidentified venue - and then it's into some forty five minutes of music. 

Twelve familiar tracks help make a review a somewhat easier task with favourite, if not definitive, versions having long-since been laid down by many of the jazz greats of the last one hundred years. Recorded in February and March, a matter of weeks before lockdown, from the opening South to the album closing Weary Blues, the Tenements' frontline of Charles 'Chuck' Deerness (trumpet), Paddy Darley (trombone) and Steven Feast (reeds), ably supported by Sassenach John Youngs (guitar, banjo) and string bassist Doug Kemp, come up trumps time and time again. Solos, ensemble work, the Tenements dig into the music of the pioneers. Deerness is a fine lead player, Darley a mischievous presence adept at shaking it up, and Feast's agile yet persuasive clarinet frequently cuts through.  

Canal Street BluesMilenburg JoysBaratariaAt a Georgia Camp Meeting - it could be these are favourite numbers of the BSH reader, if they are, check out the Tenement Jazz Band, there is every chance they will become your new favourite band. What's more, favourite bands of yore, are, for the most part, no more, whereas the Tenements are very much alive and kicking. Post Covid - there will be such a time! - catch the Tenement Jazz Band at your local jazz club. Once you've heard the band at a gig you'll want to buy the album and, if you can't wait 'til then, email the band for details of how to get your copy of Tenement Jazz Band Goes South at: tenementjazzband@gmail.com. It's a winner!                
Russell

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