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Bebop Spoken There

Rex Stewart: "Screwy chords and modern harmonies may be exciting to play, but they will never be bread-and-butter-music." - (Melody Maker April 24, 1948. From Colin Aitchison's amazing collection).
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Vasilis Xenopoulos: “I like playing jazz that has form, and structure. That’s what I’ve been doing for years and I like it.” – (Jazzwise July 2015).

Today Sunday July 5

Afternoon
MUSICIANS UNLIMITED BIG BAND - Park Inn, Park Rd., Hartlepool TS26 9HU. Free. 1pm.
Long established big band session on Teesside
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SMOKIN' SPITFIRES - The Cluny, Lime St., Ouseburn, Newcastle. 12.30pm. £6.50.
Charity fundraiser for the Bubble Foundation.
Monthly - Today's the day!.
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BAGHDADDIES Plus - Cumberland Arms, James Place St., Byker. 12 noon. Free.
All-day extravaganza with lots of bands and booze!
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BRADLEY JOHNSTON (Solo guitar) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2AE. 0191 2399924. 1pm.
Quality food and great solo jazz.
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JAMES HARRISON - Vermont Hotel, Castle Garth, Newcastle NE1 1RQ. Tel: 0191 233 1010. 4pm-7pm.
Sundays are now solo piano with earlier start.
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AM JAM - The Globe, Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 3pm.
A jam aimed at encouraging the less experienced player giving listeners a chance to spot and encourage the stars of the future. Monthly - Back July 12.
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MORE JAM - The Globe, Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 3pm. Free.
C'mon and blow! Monthly - Back on July 26.
Evening.
COLIN AITCHISON FRANCO VALUSSI and STEVE ANDREWS - Black Bull, Bridge St., Blaydon NE21 4JJ. 8pm £5.
Monthly - Tonight an Extra Night!
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VIEUX CARRE JAZZMEN - Red House Pub and Farm, Hepscott Dr., Whitley Bay NE25 9XJ. 8pm. Free.
Happy Hour 8-9pm Many drinks 2-4-1!
Monthly - Tonight's the night!
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RENDEZVOUS JAZZ - The Globe, Railway St.,NewcastleNE4 7AD. £5. 7pm.
Last Sunday in the month series featuring local trad bands. (NOTE EARLY START!) Back July 26.
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POCKET JAZZ ORCHESTRA - Brasserie Hudson Bay,Windward Way, Middlesbrough TS2 1QG. Tel: 01642 261186. 7:30pm Free. Last Sunday in month - plus guests. Back July 26
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MAINE STREET JAZZMEN - Seaton Sluice Social Club. 8pm. £3.
Monthly - Back July 26.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Stockton Jazz Festival Part two - 4:00 pm till closing time.

The mid - afternoon departure of Bebop Spoken Here's Main Man meant someone had to pick up the quill and act as scribe.
Quill dipped, poised and next on the bandstand...Spelk (thanks Lance!). Where to begin? ''Fantastic'' just about sums up this trio. A bit more? Well, three virtuosi playing the most glorious stuff! Improvised yet structured, loud, very loud, embracing straightahead jazz, jazz funk, anarcho - punk, death metal and more. Drummer Adrian Tilbrook generates immense power, Rickenbacker bassist Andy Champion lays down killer riffs and guitar wizard Chris Sharkey produces a bewildering array of sounds via a king - size pedal board. The Georgian Theatre audience loved them. These boys are busy with other projects, Spelk is a rare happening, so, next time, be there. Nick Pride and the Pimptones provided a marked contrast to Spelk - musically and sartorially. Nick Pride is an accomplished jazz guitarist having worked as accompaniest to many of the region's finest singers. The Pimptones have a love of soul music and with their jazz chops they deliver a set of largely uptempo tunes with band leader Pride taking several vocals amidst well - crafted solos from all; Alex Leathard (trombone & vocals), Graham Hardy (trumpet & flugelhorn), John Wheeler (tenor), Ian Paterson (electric bass & vocals) and Oz Cassidy (drums). For the band's penultimate number, the sharp-suited Pride invited the very elegant Zoe Gilby to return to the stand for one number. Two thirds of Spelk (Champion & Tilbrook) returned to the stage as one quarter of John Warren's Splinter Group ( for the innumerate reader = 8 musicians). ''Splinter Group'' was the first one from the pad with a superb solo from guitarist Mark Williams and it set the standard. The band, with Graham Hardy as MD, is a joy to listen to, from other John Warren compositions such as ''Lopsided'' to a tune penned by pianist Paul Edis - ''For Bill'' (trumpeter Noel Dennis suggesting it was a homage to Bill Oddie!). All had opportunities to solo including trombonist Chris Hibbard and Graeme Wilson on tenor. David Carnegie's Extreme Measures returned to the Fringe Festival for a second year and did the impossible - perform an even better set than they did last year! The quintet made one enforced change - with Jamie McCredie absent, Mark Williams stepped into the breach. The guitarist had a busy afternoon (Zoe Gilby Quintet, Splinter Group) yet was on the money from the off. A contemporary jazz outfit exploring modal shifts, this is a band of the highest calibre. Drummer Carnegie is a master musician. A ready smile, one of contentment, is reciprocated from electric bassist Stuart Davies, the same from pianist Ben Gilbert. The frontline fireworks cascaded over the venue; Gary Turner's slow - burning, then scorching tenor saxophone matched by the fizzing fretwork of Williams. Most of the tunes heard here in Stockton were being given a first airing, some of which will be available on the band's second CD due to be recorded later this year. Upon its release do one thing - buy it! So, to the finale. The Funk Regulators are Teesside's pride and joy. Young Turks blazing a trail of super - charged big soul band classics. All fourteen of them (I think there were 14, the stage was crowded, the place was jumpin') were stars on the night - each and every one of them. A larger than life teenage two - tone rude boy screaming soul numbers with his chanteuse vocalist partner backed by a tight, cookin' band of talented musicians. Tower of Power covers (including ''What Is Hip?), Stevie Wonder's ''I Wish'' and Cream's ''Sunshine of Your Love'' (yes, it worked!) were just some of the tunes rattled - off with aplomb. It was solos all round (screamers from alto and tenor), each one met with thunderous applause from a packed house. Check 'em out www.thefunkregulators.co.uk A great a day out at the Georgian. Thanks go to MC Noel Dennis, Adrian Tilbrook (of Jazz Action) and the staff at the Georgian Theatre. I can't wait for next year. Adrian Tilbrook's photos are currently out in cyberspace but have been spotted passing over Ryhope so they shouldn't be too long. They're here! (at the end of the album.) Russell

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Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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