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Bebop Spoken There

June Christy: "We used to say that if Stan [Kenton] had wanted to become President, nobody else would have stood a chance. ''- (Jazz FM issue 4, 1990).


Eddie Condon: "Every Kenton record sounds to me as though Stan signed up 300 men for the date and they were all on time." - (Jazz FM issue 4, 1990).



Today Friday October 28

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Whitley Bay NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free. 0191 2513928.
Emma Fisk/James Birkett Duo - The Lit & Phil, 23 Westgate Rd., /Newcastle NE1 1SE. 1pm. £4.
Gerry Richardson's Big Idea – Ushaw College, Nr. Durham DH7 9RH. 7:30pm. £7.
Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington. 7:00pm.
Ruth Lambert/Alan Law - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Castle Garth, Newcastle NE1 1RQ. 6pm Free. 0191 2331010.
Hand to Mouth (Lindsay Hannon/Bradley Johnston) - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9pm. Free.
To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Keith Nichols' Blue Devils with Jeff Barnhart @ The Saville, North Shields.

Enrico Tomasso, Ben Cummings (tpt/vcl), Keith Nichols (tmb/pno/vcl), Mark Foulkes (alt/clt), David Hornblower (alt/bar/sop/clt), Johnny Boston (ten/clt), Jeff Barnhart (pno/vcl), Martin Wheatley (bjo/gtr), Jerome ? (bs), Richard Pite (dms).
An hour and a half later I'm beginning to get my breath back - talk about exhilaration! Keith Nichol's Blue Devils gave a very well attended Saville Exchange audience exhilaration to spare.
The delights were many - too many to list - although, high on at that list if there were such a list would be Jeff Barnhart's rendering - rendering as in tearing apart - of "Sweet Georgia Brown". This was simply the best two fisted piano playing I've heard for many a long year. The effortless way he strode through the keys in the manner of pianists past was truly awesome.
He also chanted that old twenties Bing Crosby classic "I Left My Sugar Standing in the Rain (and my sugar melted away"), "Sunday" and others although perhaps the most amazing piece was the four hands, one piano, duet with Keith Nichols on "I Can Dream Can't I?".
Then there were the two trumpets - Enrico and Ben. Both featured extensively; Enrico in the fine old Armstrong tradition, Ben marginally more modern. Top class technicians and full of the joys of swing.
Jonny Boston - perfect name for a musician (or a private eye!) he did BG on clarinet and Hawk on tenor brilliantly. A singer/composer in his own right I'd also like to hear Jonny in a small band more modern setting.
Mark Foulkes had a lovely round Johnny Hodges sound on alto. Unmiked, as were all of the front-line, it was purity personified. David Hornblower (another fine name) played excellent bari as well as alto, clarry and sop.
Keith himself had his moments on trombone whilst the rhythm of Martin, Jerome (or was it Jeremy?) were idiomatically perfect.
Richard Pite? What can I say except "Is there a better drummer for this style of band?"
I don't think so.
Is there a better band playing in this style?
I don't think so.
Is there a better band?
That's a hard one.

1 comment :

  1. Thanks so much for the kind words!
    All best regards!


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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: I look forward to hearing from you.