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The Duddie Men

Thursday 17 July 2014

In entertainment we should always expect the unexpected and going by the promo picture and blurb I was expecting this new grouping to come up with quite a lot of quirkiness.
The name ‘Duddie Men’ itself had a different pronunciation – I naturally thought it would rhyme with ‘buddy’ but it seems they prefer it to rhyme with ‘goody’! One thing that was exactly what I expected was their consummate ease of knowing their music and playing it well.

Leading the group was Andre Bonetti – well known at the BJC as a percussionist and on this occasion playing vibes, with brother Paul Bonetti on guitar, Jacob Hills on trumpet, Zac Sakrewski on double bass and Paul Young on drums.  Describing themselves as an awkward troupe of five who can’t quite dress themselves and can’t quite swing‘ the Duddie Men treated us to a program of standards and originals with the accent being on odd signatures.

This gave new life and interpretation to the standards such as Autumn Leaves, Summertime, Caravan, Take 5, and the Girl From Ipanema. This last number included the kind of quirkiness I was expecting, with Paul Young delivering a very scientific-sounding recitation in a pseudo mid-European accent, which sounded like something lifted from a Uni lecture – totally at odds with the original message of the song, but very humourous. Could this be the start of a weird ‘Jazz Rap’ ??

Apart from the fine jazz playing by all members of the troupe, the original numbers and performances which stood out were Andre’s ‘Slightly Straight Strut’ and Zac’s ‘Old Boot’. ‘Moving to the City’ was also worthy of mention.

This was an ideal show for a listening audience and the small but attentive crowd showed their appreciation from the first number onwards. It is easy to anticipate that they will gather a loyal following of jazz fans who enjoy their particular style and presentation.

18 July 2014