One of the many pleasures of the Whitley Bay Classic Jazz Party has been its generous presentation of “new” “old” music — the recordings and repertoire we know about but may not have by heart. One delicious example is the music made by Graeme Bell — often in collaboration with Humphrey Lyttelton. It pulls off the neat trick of sounding original and familiar at once — far from the usual “originals” that are thinly disguised versions of chord changes and motifs we all know by heart.
The very articulate Michael McQuaid, who knew Graeme, was the ideal person to lead this set, and the music was consistently rewarding.
And with this band, that is no surprise: Duke Heitger, Bent Persson, trumpets; Kristoffer Kompen, trombone; Michael McQuaid, Stephane Gillot, Thomas Winteler, reeds; Martin Seck, piano; Henri Lemaire, banjo / guitar; Malcolm Sked, brass bass / string bass (off-camera but indispensable); Nick Ward, drums.
Michael — clearly at home in front of an audience, for many reasons, introduces each number better — with facts and wit — than I ever could:
TAKE A NOTE FROM THE SOUTH:
SMALL HOUR FANTASY:
HOPPIN’ MAD (a kind of Luis Russell Down Under extravaganza, no?):
May your happiness increase.