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Bebop Spoken There

Howlin' Wolf: “He [Charlie Patton] was a nice guy, but he just loved the bottle--like all the rest of the musicians. He was a great drinker.” – (DownBeat December 16, 1967).

Frank Zappa: “Those kids [US students] wouldn't know music if it came up and bit 'em on the ass.” – (DownBeat October 3, 1969).

Today Thursday April 26

Afternoon

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Tees Valley Jazzmen - No.1 Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL12 7NJ. Tel: 01388 665533. 12:30pm. Free admission.

Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society - Gateshead Central Library, Prince Consort Road, Gateshead NE8 4LN. 5:00pm. Fortnightly meetings, all welcome.

Evening

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Millstone, Haddrick’s Mill Road, South Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 1QL. 0191 2853229. 7pm.

Maine St. Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Holywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. 8:30pm. Free.

Bearpark Trio - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. £3 (£2 student/MU.).

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm.

Tees Hot Club w. Kevin Eland (tpt); Donna Hewitt (sax); Graham Thompson (keys) - Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 9pm. Free.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ Hoochie Coochie - December 29.

I'd missed the last few SSBB gigs dotted around the area so it was with much more than eager anticipation that I looked forward to this one and I wasn't disappointed.
For once, I didn't have an advance setlist which, in retrospect, wasn't such a bad thing. A setlist takes away the 'sound of surprise' and can result in the ensuing review reading more like a shopping list. So instead, I've just reflected randomly.
I don't think I've heard Alice in better voice. The gowns she'd had painted on didn't restrict her diaphragmatic breathing although it did mine. Her version of You Make me Feel so Young was the best vocal/big band number I'd heard since Sarah Vaughan appeared at Newcastle City Hall with Count Basie's band. I never thought I'd hear Sinatra's It Was a Very Good Year sung uptempo by a woman. I did last night and it worked a treat. These were just a couple from Ms. Grace's knock 'em dead repertoire. Time After Time, Jeepers Creepers, Get Happy and a quirky 1920s take on Don't Think Twice were just some of the other showstoppers.
Not that Alice was the only singer on parade. F'reez had kickstarted the concert with Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby. I love this song, not just for the enigmatic title (surely it should have a question mark?) but the way it flows and few do it better than F'reez. The half-time section at the end never fails to give it a lift. Whatever Lola Wants from The Pyjama Game was another surprise item from our man and of course, there was the inevitable Christmassy duet with Alice to finish off with - that magnificent song of seduction - Baby It's Cold Outside.
Instrumentally the band, as always, weren't firing blanks. They were shooting from the hip to the 'hip' (apart from the guy in the gents who said to me, "Dee the not play nee Glenn Milla?")
Paul Gowland was well featured on tenor and occasionally soprano bringing home the [smoked] bacon on Groovin' Hard. The sax section chorus on this particular number was a masterclass on precision playing. The other saxes popped up from time to time with Steve Summers playing more clarinet than he usually does.
I'd seen and heard the Woody Herman Band many times over the years and, invariably, they played Apple Honey. On each occasion, they played it marginally faster than before but never as fast as what Strictly Smokin' did last night. The dancers stayed seated for this one!
Was it my imagination or the injections of London Pride that made me think the trombones were more prominent solo-wise than normally? Whatever, Messrs Barnes and Parnaby were open for business. with Kurji-Smith and Flood keeping the shelves stacked.
Leader Lamb conducted, blew trumpet and the powerhouse rhythm section never faltered.
This isn't just a band - it is THE BAND!
Lance.
Michael Lamb (md), Tom Hill, Gordon Marshall, Dick Stacey (trumpets); David Barnes, Kieran Parnaby, John Flood, Chris Kurji-Smith (trombones); Dave Kerridge, Paul Gowland, Steve Summers, Keith Robinson, Laurie Rangecroft (reeds); Graham Don (piano); Pawel Jedrzejewski  (guitar); Michael Whent (bass guitar); Guy Swinton (drums); Alice Grace, F'reez (vocals).

2 comments :

Russell said...

What a band! Alice isn't a star, she's a superstar!

paul gowland said...

Yup.. 😁

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Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to them all other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
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Lance

About this blog - contact details.

Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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