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Friday, October 30, 2020

Rico Tomasso's Whitley Bay Special live stream - Oct. 30

At the time of writing - nine o'clock in the evening - we should be nicely sozzled, some nine hours into the first day of Mike Durham's International Classic Jazz Party. However, like most everything else, the world renowned festival celebrating the pioneers of the music has opted to take a year out, skirting the pandemic, with the intention of returning next year bigger and better than ever. 

During lockdown, Classic Jazz Party regular Rico Tomasso has been live streaming week after week to a hugely appreicative worldwide audience and he wasn't about to pass up the opportunity to reunite, albeit virtually, with some of his fellow CJP mainstays. Rico opened a bottle of Abbot Ale (a tipple not unfamiliar to BSH Editor-in-Chief LL), your reviewer did a 'dip-do', choosing a bottle of Landlord, the first of five different bottled beers waiting to be consumed. 

Described by Rico as 'the orchestra', pianist Martin Litton was the first to join the festivities to play My Sweet (Rico trumpet and vocals). Ellington's East St Louis Toodle-oo required something more like a recogniseable orchestra, at least in terms of numbers, so our host spent the week rounding up a band bus-load of Whitley Bay habituées: Hughes, McQuaid, Ball, Langham and Horniblow. Good stuff. 

Rico reached for his cleartone mega mute to duet with Maestro Keith Nichols on Maori. Nichols will return to the Village Hotel, near Whitley Bay, for next year's CJP. Regular Whitley Bay performers were tuning in from all four corners, announcing their presence with real time online comments - Nick Ball, Andrew Oliver (seven hours behind UK time in Portland, Oregon), Alistair Allan, Henry Lemaire. Other jazz world luminaries were watching and listening - Luca Filastro and Adrian Cox two of them. At this point the second of the bottled beers - Shipyard American IPA from Portland, Maine, USA - had been seen off. Don't be fooled, it ain't from the US of A, it's brewed on license by Marston's in the Black Country.  

Portland's Andrew Oliver (that's Portland, Oregon) provided the principal accompaniment to Rico on Wolverine Blues ably supported by the star-studded ensemble. Martin Wheatley popped up on this Popup Louis special to accompany RT on Positively-Absolutely, swiftly followed by Italian piano virtuoso Luca Filastro leading the band on Miss Brown to You with Analucia Tomasso singing Billie. 

Guitarists Wheatley and Langham (Langham singing) reappeared on Ol' Man River and That's My Home respectively and, before we knew it, the hour was up. Analucia Tomasso, backed by the CJP ensemble, took it home on Cake Walking Babies from Home. At about this time of night - gone nine - thoughts would be turning to the Classic Jazz Party's legendary late night jam session starting at eleven and winding up sometime around three in the morning. Next year...next year.     
Russell

Rico Tomasso (trumpet, vocals) with (in order of appearance) Martin Litton (piano); Graham Hughes (trombone); Michael McQuaid (clarinet); Nick Ball (percussion); Spats Langham (guitar, banjo, vocals); David Horniblow (bass sax, tenor sax); Andrew Oliver (piano); Martin Wheatley (guitar); Luca Filastro (piano); Analucia Tomasso (vocals).

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