Buck and Billie

/ Nov

Buck and Billie

SJE Arts
Start Time
07:30 pm - 10:00 pm
£20/ £15

Julia Biel and The Buck Clayton Legacy Band

In January 1937, one of the great musical partnerships began in the New York recording studios, when Billie Holiday teamed up with trumpeter Buck Clayton and members of Teddy Wilson’s band. For much of the next twenty-two years, Buck and Billie continued to play and record together.

In this special presentation, the Buck Clayton Legacy Band is joined by vocalist Julia Biel, who is one of the UK’s leading singers and also a brilliant Billie Holiday interpreter, to explore that musical treasure trove. From “Back In Your Own Back Yard” to “Good Morning Heartache” many favourites are there, including Teddy Wilson-style charts of some of the numbers that Billie only recorded with big band or orchestra, plus the emotional punch of pieces such as  “God Bless The Child”.

The band is co-led by bassist and broadcaster Alyn Shipton and German saxophonist Matthias Seuffert, and it features Ian Smith, trumpet, Adrian Fry, trombone, Alan Barnes, reeds, Jonathan Vinten, piano and Bobby Worth, drums.

“There’s said to be a minor resurgence in swing in the metropolis, with new bands popping up, and that’s all to the good. Still, for the real thing, you needed to be on hand to hear the mighty Buck Clayton Legacy Band storm into ‘Outer Drive’. Arranged by band trombonist Adrian Fry, this had all the ensemble cohesion and rhythmic certainty that its original composer, Basie trumpeter Buck Clayton himself, would have relished. Clayton knew how to give his pieces an inbuilt propensity to swing, but as band altoist Alan Barnes said to me, ‘I can think of plenty of bands who’d still miss out.’ Happily this one, propelled by the peerless Bobby Worth, our finest swing drummer, who formed a tight rhythmic bond with bandleader-bassist Alyn Shipton, never put a foot wrong. The meat of the night came with the appearance of vocalist Julia Biel, whose role was to evoke and emulate Billie Holiday, especially on songs with a Clayton association…Her second set excelled, the confidence building, the backing scaled-down, as on ‘God Bless The Child’.” Peter Vacher, Jazzwise