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Bebop Spoken There

Ben Williams: "Jaco [Pastorius] is almost like the Charlie Parker of the bass." - (DownBeat November 2018).

Dana Hall: "My philosophy is that everyone in the band is a drummer." - (DownBeat November 2018.)

Today Monday October 22

Afternoon.

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

Evening

?????

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

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Alister Spence Quartet + Watts and Weston @ Lit & Phil Feb. 8

Alister Spence (piano & keyboards), Raymond MacDonald (alto & soprano saxophones), Joe Williamson (double bass) & Chris Cantillo (drums) + Trevor Watts (alto & soprano saxophones) & Veryan Weston (piano)
(Review by Russell)
The Lit and Phil hosted a return visit by pianist Alister Spence. The Australian decided to forsake a southern hemisphere summer for a British winter to tour once again with his international quartet – Scot Raymond MacDonald, Canadian Joe Williamson and from Sweden Chris Cantillo. Spence’s previous visit to Newcastle drew a full house and this time around there was a similar healthy turn out.
The expectant crowd got in early knowing that an additional treat was in store. Veteran improvisers Trevor Watts and Veryan Weston renewed acquaintance in an enthralling one set performance. No sound check, no rehearsal, just a ‘let’s do it’ attitude. Master musicians, familiar with one another’s musical language, pieces developed intuitively, threading a linear cat and mouse chase into spontaneous composition. Their set was, deservedly, warmly received.
The Lit and Phil had celebrated a birthday the previous day - 220 not out - and the forward looking cultural institution should be congratulated for hosting, with no little enthusiasm, contemporary jazz in an increasingly busy building. The library and its rooms are booked weeks and months ahead with a wide range of events, activities and gatherings - earlier in the day pianist Paul Edis launched a new monthly lunchtime jazz gig with a tremendous turn-out to hear the top-class Zoe Gilby Trio and the following night there is an all-night ghost hunt! Each to their own, as they say.
So to Alister Spence. Think Brubeck and the new generation - Mehldau, EST - add a little bit of Spence (he isn’t afraid to fuse the acoustic with the electronic). Double bassist Joe Williamson is the classic bass player – unperturbed with all that’s going on around him and drummer Chris Cantillo is another new generation player in possession of amazing technique - he will clatter when so inclined and then give it the feather-light touch in the style of James Maddren (another star performer heard at the Lit and Phil and elsewhere on Tyneside). The presence of Raymond MacDonald is a real treat - amiable, unassuming and a first rate musician. Composed, improvised, inside or out, MacDonald is your man. Spence’s compositions tend to be reflective, thoughtful pieces with a slow burning fuse and just occasionally there is an incendiary outburst rivalling the Sydney Harbour New Year firework display and MacDonald is invariably the Guy Fawkes villain/hero.
Sales of CDs all but sold out (the same thing happened during Spence’s previous visit). The concert was a Jazz North East promotion and their next one is next Wednesday (13 February), once again at the Lit and Phil, featuring two rising stars of the British scene; pianist Robert Mitchell and charismatic vibes man Corey Mwamba. An intriguing aspect of this gig will be a solo set by Mitchell during which he will play left hand only. You have to be good to attempt this in public! The two-handed Mwamba will play vibes using four if not six mallets and occasionally none! Get along to the gig - seeing and hearing is believing!
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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Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
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