On the Ramage Jazz poster it read ďA delightful evening of traditional jazz music at the very bestĒ for their one evening in June jazz concert held in the Newton Hotel, Nairn. As witnessed at the full-house first sitting event, it certainly was all of what was written, and very much more besides.
The vibes that I was receiving coming from the trio was that none of those masters of their musicianship craft was outshining any of the others, even when the piano man looked years the younger of them. Never have I ever come across that scenario before during the many years of attending classic jazz concerts throughout the epochs.
The rapport and camaraderie between them with the off the cuff approach by the leader trumpeter Duke Heitger in forming ad lib together their programme for the evening was infectious, thus adding great interest, spontaneity and anticipation gasps, seeking to know what the next number to be was on its way.
The concert covered the spectrum of jazz from the 20s through to the swing era. Tiger Rag, Tea For Two, Sophisticated Lady and, onwards covering George Gershwin and Benny Goodman tunes of stunning material, all goodie, goodie stuff from the trumpeter leader in song, not to overlook the potential newcomer vocalist.
For me the Jimmie Noone Apex Blues by the two front wind instruments was absolutely outstanding.
The Judy Garland famous song - Somewhere Over the Rainbow played by Engelbert Wrobel on soprano sax came over really beautiful, but overall in total, it did not surpass the dexterity and tone quality of his superb concert playing on the clarinet.
The youngster, namely, Chris Hopkins the pianist, when he announced that he was also to perform a solo, I anticipated In a Mist coming during his narrations what his choice of the four piano compositions by Bix Beiderbecke would be. Flashes it was - the other two being In the Dark and Candlelights, thus highlighting him as an inspiring pianist covering the broad distributive range of the jazz music world.
It was a sensationally stunning performance given by leader Duke Heitger on trumpet closing the concert on the encore entitled Thatís My Home a tune made famous by Louis Armstrong - that and Home are and were I believe signature numbers of past and perhaps current traditional jazzbands in Europe.
If the opportunity arises to hear this trio again anywhere in the UK then Iím up for it. The Nairn Jazz Festival programme for August has not yet been released, but Iíve heard that Duke is likely to be there Ė if so, itís a date not to be missed.
Thanks to Ken Ramage for bringing early - the best of jazz to Nairn, Scotland.
Coquette * Rose Room * El Salon de Gutbucket * Gilly * Manoir de Mes Reves
Shoe Shine Boy * Hop, Skip and Jump * Nine Oíclock Beer * Promenade Aux Champs Elysees * Sophisticated Swing * Thou Swell * New Orleans * 9.20 Special * Jubilee * I Love Paris
* * * * * * *
The CD has a comprehensive booklet - Liner notes by Ross Firestone
Kings Jazz Review - June the 1st - 2007
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