Jazz on Sunday

Chicago Teddy Bears

Chicago Teddy Bears - Jazz on a Sunday
Reporter: Tony Sheldon
Date online: 16/04/2009

The Chicago Teddy Bears Society Jazz Band have been in absentia for a few years now, but this seven piece ensemble, with all the band now fighting fit, made a welcome return to ‘Jazz on a Sunday’ with a mixture of tunes to please the most critical ears.

Led by trumpeter Kenny Doran, the first set veered from the pure New Orleans of “Perdido Street” fuelled by Doran’s muted trumpet, via Caribbean brass featuring John Hallam’s sax in “Watermelon Man” to Ellington’s “Mood Indigo”. The set was full of mellow tunes for Hallam’s clarinet, Tony Dunleavy’s trombone, muted trumpet, Tony Ormesher’s guitar and Nev Goodwin’s piano.

Drummer Brian Singleton vocalised with “Dapper Dan” and string bassman Rae Owens accompanied his own vocal of “Nobody’s Sweetheart Now”.

Doran and the gang also celebrated barmaid Lynda’s birthday with “Happy Birthday Blues” and “April Showers” with Owens in good voice.

“Hindustan” got part two off to a rousing start, and Owens’ vocals soothed the ears with “My Blue Heaven” and “Keeping Out of Mischief”. Hallam’s clarinet solo accompanied Doran’s vocal of “Buona Sera” and a clever arrangement of “Tishamingo Blues” with ‘throughput’ of trombone, trumpet, clarinet and piano had Doran finishing the number in song.

Hallam’s sax solo with “Swinging Too” and Ormesher’s banjo solo driving “China Boy” were certainly a different slant from the usual.

Suitably refreshed the band gave “Shine” a different polish with Owens back on brass bass, Ormesher on banjo, Hallam on soprano sax, all blending with Doran’s vocal. “My Old Kentucky Home” had the audience in good voice, as did “Jambalaya” led in song by Owens and Dunleavy’s trombone.

“Burgundy Street Blues” with the superb clarinet tones of Hallam, and the guitar riffs of Ormesher in “Satin Doll” had the devotees mesmerised, leading to the Morecambe and Wise of the Jazz world, Owens and Ormesher, giving their impression of George Formby’s “Leaning on a Lampost” followed by a rendition in ‘Johnny Cash’ mode – I ask you!

And it was now time to go. And Owens’ brass bass led the band in “Just a Little While to Stay Here”… Guys, shouldn’t that have been an earlier number?

Contact Information

Jazz on Sunday

Newtown National Club
Nixon Street, Off Manchester Road
OL11 3JN

Tel: 01422 823 479

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