From the Pershore UK Jazz Festival

The last thing I expected from my 10th annual visit to the Pershore Jazz Festival was the premiere of an unreleased Benny Goodman tune. Yet there it was, smack in the middle of an incredible tribute titled “Benny Goodman 1935 – His Life & Times”. Keith Nichols, probably the foremost authority on classic jazz, took advantage of the talented musicians, present for the weekend, to create an 18-piece orchestra that covered Goodman’s life from the earliest years to the gems from the 1938 Carnegie Hall concert. As the concert developed, Keith explained that two unreleased tunes, “Dodging a Divorcee” and “Sweet Hot”, were discovered in the BG archives. The latter piece was incomplete, so Keith finished and arranged it. We had the privilege of hearing the premiere of this arrangement. The concert was incredible. A session put together by Keith Nichols is like attending a college course. His knowledge is awe-inspiring. With a wicked sense of humor, he motivates the best in the musicians while enlightening the audience to the nuances of each piece. Two talented clarinetists played the Goodman roles. Michael McQuaid, the young BG, and Richard Exall, the older. McQuaid’s lyrical interpretation of “Memories “was outstanding
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Frank Farbenbloom is a traditional jazz supporter based in Israel.

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