Don Lusher Big Band, Framlingham

DAVID WAKEFIELD Well, it wasn't quite what we had in mind. Instead of the usual T-shirts and shorts-clad audience, it was fleeces, waterproofs and brollies, under dark clouds and rain.

DAVID WAKEFIELD

Well, it wasn't quite what we had in mind. Instead of the usual T-shirts and shorts-clad audience, it was fleeces, waterproofs and brollies, under dark clouds and rain. But the show went ahead, before a large and appreciative audience; the usual picnic suppers were enjoyed and, in true British style, no-one let the weather get them down.

Don Lusher, a stalwart of the great Ted Heath Orchestras, trombone sections, brought a band that did not disappoint.

Smooth, well-drilled and including some accomplished soloists, this was unashamedly populist, with a big slice of Glenn Miller's material included, and vocalist Sheila Southern in top form, too.


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There was also much for the jazz lover, notably a fine version of Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams, by pianist John Horler, featuring some superb bass playing from Paul Morgan; and a blistering version of the old standard Tangerine by alto saxist Roy Willox.

The Ella Fitzgerald Songbook is a show devised by singer Barbara Jay, joined on this occasion by Tina May and Joan Viskant, and backed by the Tommy Whittle Quartet. It comprises songs made famous by Ella Fitzgerald – Manhattan, Every Time We Say Goodbye etc – neatly arranged, and interspersed with anecdotes. Highly entertaining it was, too, livened by the three women's differing vocal styles, Tina May being well able to reproduce the “scat” singing at which Fitzgerald was an expert.

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All first class and one of the best events at Framlingham Castle.

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