Archive for July 13th, 2010

Bobby Shew with WYJO – 25th Wigan International Jazz Fesival 2010

Wigan has a thriving jazz scene which surprises many people – including their self-effacing selves (is that grammatically about right?) and has produced an award winning youth jazz orchestra which has played all over the world, performing with many leading musicians (and drummers) – more . The jazz festival is without doubt one of the premier jazz events in the U.K. and has over the years hosted more than it’s fair share of top artists. People like (in no particular order) Cleo Laine and John Dankworth, Dave Brubeck, Jimmy Smith, Maynard Ferguson, Roy Hargrove, Benny Golson, Al Foster, Eddie Henderson, Johnny Griffin, Ray Brown, Count Basie Orchestra and of course pretty well every great British player has taken the road to Wigan Pier (sorry, I had an Orwellian nightmare lastnight).

Stan Tracey and his Big Band appear on Wednesday – he has a new CD release very soon I’m told.

Bobby Shew has long been a favourite at Wigan and was making a very welcome return to play at the festival’s new main venue which is spacious and atmospheric. It’s pretty well perfect I must say – a bar at the back of the hall would have made it so purely so people could turn round and shush those concientiously propping it up as they quaff. Barfly’s develpoped a wonderful ability to simultaneously speak louder as the night wears on – if only to make themselves heard above the irritating self righteous shushers and the music. Happy nights at the Mill on the Pier come to mind!

I particularly enjoyed Bobby’s straight-from-the-heart flugel playing. He’s still hitting the stunning highs too and had some warm anecdotes to tell between tunes, including one about a wonderful seven years on the stand with Blue Mitchell who he spoke of as his brother – riotous party nights in LA known as ‘Blue and Shew.’

Bobby Shew

Bobby Shew

Bobby Shew

WYJO and Festival Director Ian Darrington MBE

WYJO and Festival Director, Ian Darrington MBE

Boby Shew with WYJO Directed by Ian Darington
Boby Shew with WYJO Directed by Ian Darington
Ben Darrington playing what it was made for - a ''73 Jazz

Ben Darrington - jazz played on his mojo'd ''73 Fender Jazz

Trumpeters often ask, what is this? How did it get here?

Trumpeters often ask, what is this? How did it get here?

- he's remembered!

- he's remembered!

Bobby Shew with WYJO Directed by Ian Darington

Bobby Shew with WYJO Directed by Ian Darington

Bobby Shew seen in his Flugel Horn

Bobby seen in his Flugel Horn

Scottish National Jazz Orchestra – Wigan International Jazz Festival 2010

As you know I just love Scotland and this band is one of the reasons why. Lead by Tommy Smith and featuring the very wonderful Brian Kellock with a stellar line-up of players, including The Very Talented Mr. Quigley this is a band that really motors. A high-octane ‘Tribute to Woody Herman’ set the mood for a compelling first set. Tommy Smith’s arrangement of ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ was brilliantly colourful.

SNJO perform 'Rhapsody in Blue' arranged by Tommy Smith

SNJO perform Gershwins 'Rhapsody in Blue' arranged by Tommy Smith

Alan Benzie (Scottish Young Musician of the Year winner) keeps an eye on Brian

Alan Benzie (Scottish Young Musician of the Year winner) keeps an eye on Brian Kellock

Actually Alan's turning pages - at the right time

Actually Alan's turning pages - at the right time

Alyn Cosker on drums

Alyn Cosker on da drums

Tommy solo

Tommy Smith

SNJO_WGN10_MG_5449©William Ellis

A Very Goodnight from Wigan