Chicago Teddy Bears - Jazz on a Sunday
Reporter: Tony Sheldon
Date online: 17 January 2011
With the arctic weather defeating the Christmas party for the second year in succession, Jazz-On-A-Sunday transformed the magic of Christmas into the wonder of the New Year, as a happy crowd enjoyed the buffet and festivities of the first gig of 2011 listening to the music of the Chicago Teddy Bears Society Jazz Band.
With their signature tune opening the set, trumpeter Kenny Doran accompanied by the Glee Club vocalised with the old Acker Bilk number “So Do I.”
A neat blend and presentation of “Yellow Dog Blues,” was followed by a fine arrangement of “Hiawatha Rag,” as the quality music breezed through the airwaves.
It was the turn of double bass man Rae Owens to take the ‘mic’ with his vocal “Sunny Side of the Street,” musically driven by Doran’s trumpet, the sax of John Hallam Andrew McKenzie’s trombone and Octogenarian Neville Goodwin on the piano.
Doran’s lead trumpet fired “Perdiso Street Blues,” and Doran’s vocal followed with “Merry Christmas You Suckers!”
Our Gracies connections often activate “Isle of Carri,” and with due diligence the band drifted into the buffet break.
Fed and watered, it was back to the music with “Ace in the Hole,” sung by Doran, and Owens leading us to believe “Keeping out of Mischief Now,” backed by McKenzie’s trombone and interlude for Goodwin’s piano.
The band’s arrangement of Ellingtons “Mood Indigo,” blended front line pieces with smooth trombone and the guitar of Ian McCann “Waiting for the Sunrise,” features John Hallay on alto-sax. A banjo solo for McCann and some neat interplay between sax and drummer Brian Singleton.
“Watermelon Man,” took me to the Caribbean with bluesy piano and trombone complimenting Hallam’s tender sax and Singleton closes the set vocalising with “Crazy About my Baby.”
Still in the party mood “Willy the Weeper,” led off the final session! The Calypso beat of Hallam’s alto-sax with the close attention of Goodwin’s piano brought a dreamy feel to “Paper Moon.”
It was time for the quirks of Owens to take centre stage. With an increasing formula, one attack on “Blues my Naughty Sweetie Gave to me,” then with the acquiescence of McCann on banjo, Owens went into George Formby mode with “I’m Leaning on a Lampost,” then into a version a la Johnny Cash - Crazy.
Drummer Brian Singleton grabbed the ‘mic’ to tell the story of “Dapper Dan,” and it was time to wind up the show, and with everyone firing on all cylinders, the Teddy Bears played out with a medley built around “Down by the Riverside” - wow.
Have Your Say