Archive for November, 2011

KEN PEPLOWSKI AND THE BBC BIG BAND PLAY THE MUSIC OF BENNY GOODMAN. Featuring Louise Cookman (vocalist)

CADOGAN HALL LONDON – 23rd OCTOBER 2011

KEN PEPLOWSKI AND THE BBC BIG BAND PLAY THE MUSIC OF BENNY GOODMAN.
Featuring Louise Cookman (vocalist)
This concert was the second of a tour which began last night at The Hawth Crawley, and continues next week at Leeds, Southampton Newark and Worthing.
The Cadogan Hall, as always provided a magnificent setting for this great concert, a slightly smaller band than usual with 3 trumpets and two trombones plus four saxes, with of course leader Ken Peplowski, who conducted and compered the show with an interesting stream of anecdotes about playing with Benny Goodman in the band he re-formed on coming out of retirement in the early eighties. He had a pleasing and relaxed personality, which set the right tone for a selection of numbers we associate with Benny. Most aptly the concert kicked off with Benny’s signature tune ‘Let’s Dance’ followed by ‘Don’t Be That Way’ with Ken playing clarinet on both, as he did throughout the show
Ken then introduced Louise Cookman, looking charming in green satin, and with a voice admirably suited to the era Her first number was ‘The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea’ then ‘When The Sun Comes Out’ and ‘Why Don’t You Do Right’
Lots of solos in the barnstorming ‘King Porter Stomp’ from Rob Fowler on Tenor Sax. Kieran McLeod on Trombone, Colin Skinner and Sammy Mayne Saxes plus Robin Aspland (Piano) Sam Burgess (Bass) Chris Howard (Guitar) and Tom Gordon driving it all along on Drums Oh! And I mustn’t forget Martin Shaw on Trumpet!
After all that the mood quietened and the guys had a rest while Ken played a brilliant and haunting rendition of ‘Poor Butterfly’ accompanied by the rhythm section. The first half closed with a roaring ‘Stealin’ Apples’ and the audience trouped out for a brief interval, I spotted Julia McKenzie among them, I’m sure she was, like us thoroughly enjoying the proceedings.
More great solos were heard from the band in the second half, plus a couple more songs from Louise, my favourite of the evening was an Ella Fitzgerald number, ‘Goodnight My Love’ Ken continued his repartee, and off the cuff banter with one member of the audience who wanted to hear ‘Stomping At The Savoy’. Instead we were treated to a fantastic ‘Sing Sing Sing’ with Andy Greenwood doing the full version of Harry James’ trumpet solo, amid cheers from the audience. As a consolation to the chap who was asking for ‘Stompin’, we got not one encore but two, as Ken said a ballad and a fast number, so we heard ‘Goodbye’ followed by a storming ‘Bugle Call Rag’ to finish! Another wonderful concert, and I wished I could manage to get to another one next week!

Personnel: Trumpets Brian Rankine Andy Greenwood and Martin Shaw. Trombones Gordon Campbell and Kieran Mc Leod. Saxes Rob Fowler Colin Skinner Sammy Mayne and Jay Craig. Rhythm section Robin Aspland Piano, Sam Burgess Bass ,Chris Howard Guitar and Tom Gordon Drums

Here’s to the next time!
Marion Fry

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November 28, 2011 at 15:20 Leave a comment


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