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Bebop Spoken There

Mundell Lowe: “...we also had to play for a floor show, which consisted of girls dancing--some of 'em were dressed, some of 'em were not so dressed.” – (Crescendo September 1974).

George Melly: “I think all clubs are like old tarts, sad under full lighting.” – (Slowing Down, Penguin Books 2005).

Today Tuesday December 1

Mosaic Jazz (Playing a celebration of American music) - Bell and Bucket, 37 Norfolk St, North Shields, Tyne and Wear NE30 1NQ. 1pm. Free.
Charles Gordon/Ken Hewitt Trio - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Newcastle. 7.30-10pm. Free.
Gavin Lee’s Dixieland Band - New Inn, 29 Church St., Durham. DH1 3DN. 9pm. Free.
Jam Session - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. Free.
Customs House Big Band w. Ruth Lambert - All Saints Church, Cleadon, nr. Sunderland. 7pm.
Ralph Keeley (solo piano) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2AE. 0191 2399924. 7.00pm.
Ian Bosworth and Friends - Dormans, Oxford Rd., Middlesbrough, TS5 5DT. 01642 823813. 9pm.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Impossible Gentlemen

Gwilym Simcock (pno); Mike Walker (gtr); Steve Swallow (bs); Adam Nussbaum (bs). Basho Records SRCD 36-2.
These gentlemen are impossible to typecast. The opening Laugh Lines - a Mike Walker composition - has contrapuntal lines weaving in and around each other with an almost Bach-like lucidity but with a contemporary feel. Imagine if the Modern Jazz Quartet had discarded their funereal garb and reformed in 2011 wearing sweatshirts, jeans and trainers - the result may have been along these lines.
Simcock has an awesome technique blending yet contrasting with the tasteful guitar directions of Mike Walker. I can't believe I've never heard Walker before this compelling CD. Not only does he solo appealingly but he also wrote 4 of the 8 original compositions. Simcock chipped in with 3 and Nussbaum the final Sure Would Baby.
Steve Swallow and Nussbaum - the transatlantic half of the quartet provide much more than rhythmic support adding their own voices to the ensembles and solos with depth and originality.
The CD is due for general release on June 6 and will also serve as an appetiser for their forthcoming tour which opens at The Sage, Gateshead on June 10.
For more info go to

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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: I look forward to hearing from you.

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