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Bebop Spoken There

Anat Fort: "In order to play and tour with people and spend a lot of time with them, you need to get along with them" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Monday May 27

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Hot 4 - Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12:00 - 3:00pm. Free.

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free.

Tyne Valley Big Band - Bywell Hall, Bywell, near Stocksfield NE43 7AB. £15.00. (concs. £14.00., child £5.00., £35.00. family). 2:00-4:00pm. A Northumberland County Show (all day) event.

Evening

Ruby Turner - Whitley Bay Playhouse, Marine Avenue, Whitley Bay NE26 1LZ. Tel: 0844 248 1588. 7:30pm. £28.80. A Mouth of the Tyne event.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Funny Valentine - The Story of Chet Baker told by Mike Maran. Darlington Arts Centre.

Mike Maran (narrator), Colin Steele (tpt), Robert Pettigrew (pno).
If you've ever been drawn to the beauty of Chet Baker's music this is a must see production - a gem albeit, like the (anti) hero, a flawed gem.
On trumpet, Colin Steele captures the sound of Chet Baker to the nth degree. Every nuance, every phrase, could have emulated from the enigmatic icon himself. On piano, Robert Pettigrew, a name new to me, also displays a feel for the idiom even though he has no publicised jazz form.
Music apart, it's a one man show, written, performed and narrated by Mike Maran. In effect it is Baker's addiction as seen through the eyes of the drug itself. To quote a line from the play "...a hero and a heroin..."
That the script manages to 'inject' humour - e.g. "There's A Small Hotel" played in jail - without minimising the tragedy says much for Mike Maran. Jazz buffs may well feel they've heard it all before, and of course we have, so what? It's still compelling theatre and Colin Steele is pretty damn close to the real deal.
So where? I hear you ask, is this particular gem's flaw?
It may be a personal thing but, initially, Mike Maran's Scottish accent struck me as a wee bit incongruous given the subject matter. In fairness, as the narrative progressed the accent became less of a problem so maybe I'm nitpicking.
Judge for yourself - it's on at Alnwick April 21.
Lance.
PS: Because I had the drive from Darlo ahead of me I opted out of the question and answer session at the end which I think would have added to the experience. Maybe I'll catch it when/if it is done in Newcastle. A natural for Live Theatre.

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