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12,535 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 254 of them this year alone and, so far, 105 this month (Feb. 24).

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Ronnie Scott's Jazz Orchestra live streaming from Frith St. - Feb. 21

MD Pete Long was wisecracking before the down beat. Appropriately, Ronnie Scott's Jazz Orchestra opened with Chick Corea's Got a Match? No more to be said, RSJO launched into Freddy Gavita's arrangement of Chameleon, on which Dave O'Higgins blew the roof off!  A fast moving show brought on the first of the evening's vocalists, Mr Iain Mackenzie, to sing I Love Paris (arr. P. Long). Callum Au's arrangement of It's Alright with Me kept Mackenzie on stage, although he was in danger of being blown away by Sammy Mayne's coruscating alto sax solo!

Billy Strayhorn's 1950 arrangement of Take the 'A' Train served as a tribute to a long-time supporter of the band, Long charged pianist Robin Aspland with bringing it in, sometime Kansas Smitty's 'bone man Higham picking it up, Alex Garnett's tenor taking it out in style. More Ellington, Aspland again, on Mountain Harissa from Duke's Far East Suite (O'Higgins exceptional solo). Baritone sax Paul Nathaniel's measured riff on Hot Toddy had its usual mesmerizing effect. Simple but effective. A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square arranged by 'Britain's poshest Geordie' (Mark Armstrong), quipped Long, gave all sections the opportunity to shine. 

Please welcome to the stage, a last minute replacement for Georgina Jackson, all the way from WhitstableMs Louise Cookman, to sing Night and Day (arr. P. Long). And on to Vincent Youmans' Tea for Two arranged as a cha-cha by MD Long. Finally, Ed Richardson set up an unlikely finale, Stone Fox Chase (Old Grey Whistle Test theme).  

By coincidence your reviewer was enjoying a bottle of Whitstable Bay Brewery's Pale Ale (4%).   
Russell         


Pete Long (MD, clarinet); Louise Cookman (vocals); Iain Mackenzie (vocals); Nathan Bray, George Hogg, Mark Armstrong, Freddy Gavita (trumpets); Andy Flaxman, Callum Au, Daniel Higham, Mark Frost (trombones); Adrian Revell, Sammy Mayne, Dave O'Higgins, Alex Garnett, Paul Nathaniel (saxophones); Robin Aspland (piano); Steve Pearce (double bass, bass guitar); Ed Richardson (drums) 

1 comment :

Chris Kilsby said...

I saw the first part of this show. The first thing that struck me was the proximity of players and lack of masks (even for drummer/bass/keys/conductor). This looked like a pre-Covid session to me! By contrast the trio on KSTV were well separated and masked.

Do they have any other precautions at Ronnies - more ventilation, testing? or am I right to be alarmed? Knowing what we know about indoor transmission, and the prodigious "blowing", surely they can't afford to endanger players of the calibre of Dave O'Higgins!

Chris K

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