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Bebop Spoken There

Artie Shaw: “I'm not interested in giving people what they want--I'm interested in making music.” – (DownBeat October 15, 1939).

Jason Marsalis: “There's so many places that this music can go and there's a lot yet to be discovered.'” – (DownBeat April 2018)

Today Tuesday March 20


Classic Swing - The Ship, Front St., Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.


Jam session - Jazz Café, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. Free.

Jazz Blowers’ Easter Concert - Hurworth Grange Community Centre, Hurworth Road, Hurworth Place, Darlington DL2 2BN. 7:00pm. £5.00. Concert in the Hadwin Lounge.

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

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Claude Werner Quartet - Splinter @ The Bridge

Claude Werner (ten), Lloyd Wright (gtr), Laurence Blackadder (bs), David Carnegie (dms).

This gig was in the upper room of Newcastle's Bridge Hotel, on the small raised stage on which I’ve occasionally sung an unaccompanied folksong at the Monday folkclub. Forget my warblings – this gig was something else entirely.

The band played a storming set to a full house of fans of all ages. It was great from the word go, but no words were spoken at first, simply Claude looking cool in shades, black beret and red shirt, starting with a strong evocative sax, and the rest of the band murmuring instrumentally behind him.

It’s difficult to describe a gig such as this, you really have to be there (Why weren’t you, you other people?) because the pieces were all original compositions with intriguing titles such as I Have Nothing to Say to You and Things I Can Not Express, and other titles which we couldn’t hear properly because of the enthusiastic applause.

There were generous amounts of hard fast playing, alternating with slow soulful sax and guitar. The solos were frequent and intriguing. I’ve never before seen a drummer who smiles so much, both at the other musicians and at the drums themselves. Always a good sign when a player smiles at his instrument. The guitarist was wonderfully creative and at one point sounded as if he was playing underwater, to approving nods from Claude. I’d liked to have heard more solos from the bass, partly because of his superb surname of Blackadder, but I’m told he’s a modest soul. The band was not afraid to play as a trio on some numbers, minus guitar, then minus drums, which added interest.

Claude’s sax featured brilliantly. I suspect he was doing things which were impossible, producing a deep breathy sound, then shimmering silver slivers of sound, with beautiful lyrical riffs in between. (Are they called riffs in jazz or is that just rock, you can tell I’m a novice at writing about jazz?). One item had Claude paying quick snatches of tune, with responding calls from the band, exciting stuff. The gig ended with Claude asking the punters what was wanted for an encore, a ‘Ballad or some hardcore’. We opted for hardcore to send us home happy for the rest of the holiday weekend!

Ann Alexander.


Roly said...


Lance said...

Great review Ann - you're on the team.
As regards 'riffs' - it was a jazz term long before Rock was even a pebble.

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About this blog - contact details.

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: I look forward to hearing from you.