Sunday 18th September 2016
You wait for ages then two come along at once! No, I’m not talking about buses, I’m talking gigs.
I’d marked Friday’s Nigel Price Trio session down as my gig of the year then, what happens? SSBB roll up at Hoochie and, not only do they have Alice Grace as band singer but they also bring in Parisian based American singer Hailey Tuck!
Hailey, by the way, brought in Rick Simpson on keys and Chris Maddock on tenor who also did the majority of her vocal arrangements.
Alice opened the batting with Sway; Time After Time; Somebody Loves me (everybody does babe!); Alright OK You Win; You Make me Feel so Young. Alice looked good and sounded even better if that were possible!
Time to meet Ms. Tuck.
Fascinating Rhythm (complete with verse); Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea; Stardust with just (JUST!) the rhythm section; So in Love; Daydream; Let’s Do It; Don’t Think Twice and After You’ve Gone.
La Tuck transcends the eras, her rich well-rounded contralto au fait with any idiom
The comparison between the vocalists was interesting, and neither lost out. To simplify, Alice is post-bop and Hailey is pre-bop. And yet, although Hailey acted, danced, dressed sang like a flapper, her material also encompassed Bob Dylan and the Jackson 5!
However, this wasn’t a Savoy Ballroom cutting contest – just two superb singers doing their own thing which, occasionally, overlapped and made me think that maybe they could have done a girlie duet!
Hailey, after pausing to chat with the audience and have a couple of pics taken, returned for the third set and we had All the Things You Are; My Heart Belongs to Daddy; When It’s Sleepytime Down South (with a rare solo by Rangecroft); No Moon at All (with Rick Simpson and Chris Maddock); All I Do is Think of You and Sunday Morning (a Tuck original). There was more but, not being in our usual comfort zone, making notes was difficult. This didn’t detract from the music!
The band, as we’ve come to expect, were well up to the task and most of the usual suspects got in with solos.
Rick Simpson, originally from Guisborough, I’d last heard him accompanying Sarah Ellen Hughes
(whatever became of?), and he proved to be equally adept with Hailey comping and soloing to great effect. Rick also chipped in with a couple of arrangements although the majority were by Maddock who also blew some good tenor
An Australian visitor remarked, “A superb big band and two great singers, I’d expect to pay £100 for this!” He’s right but please don’t tell Warren! – Lance Liddle, Be Bop Spoken Here