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Bebop Spoken There

Randy Brecker: "It's still a thrill for me today to stand out front of a big band as the soloist and hear all that sound going on behind you. It brings the best out of me" - (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 20

Afternoon

Jazz

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.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Eyes Shut Tight @ The Bridge Hotel. March 10, 2013

Paul Baxter (double bass), Johnny Tomlinson (keyboards) & Kristoffer Wright (drums)
(Review by Russell.)
Sunday night at the Bridge. One thing was for certain - it would be snowing. It was. Another thing - there was a predictably small audience. Where would you rather be - in front of a television watching Countryfile: a Royal Appointment or perhaps Top Gear (I've just checked) or sitting with a tip-top pint in one of Newcastle’s very best pubs listening to some first rate jazz? No contest, surely?
This week’s Splinter session presented Eyes Shut Tight, a trio led by bassist Paul Baxter. The tall, relaxed  Yorkshireman has played Splinter on more than one occasion over the last year or two and this latest visit saw him in the company of Johnny Tomlinson (keyboards) and drummer Kristoffer Wright - collectively EST, sorry, Eyes Shut Tight. The temptation to draw a parallel with EST is all too easy and it is true to say that there are similarities - taut, repetitive motifs and a focus on keyboard improvisations.
Bassist Paul Baxter is the trio’s principal composer and one of his tunes - A Touch of the Charlies - referenced two double bass players (Charlie Haden and Charles Mingus) suggesting a feature for the composer. Not so. Baxter writes for the group with drummer Kristoffer Wright and Johnny Tomlinson contributing in equal measure to the group sound. Hit and Hope and Precipice couldn't restrain Tomlinson and his formidable technique shone through.
The trio arrived in Newcastle mid-tour with new tunes to play from their new CD Resonance. The title track and a ballad - T and C (comp. Wright) - owed something to the gospel sound redolent in the music of, say, Junior Mance or Dr.Billy Taylor and the gig concluded with Mr C. There is another chance to hear these tunes and more next month (April 6) when Eyes Shut Tight visit the Sage during the Gateshead International Jazz Festival. Next week’s Splinter session features the excellent King Bee.                        
Russell.         

5 comments :

Brian Bennett said...

Can we keep blaming the weather for small audiences, Russell?
Just a short walk from The Bridge, Live Theatre was 'packed to the gunwales'. Same snow and bitterly cold weather, but an event which was sold out in spite of having no director, no set and an actor (Kevin Whately) who hadn't even seen the script.

Dave Parker (on Facebook) said...

I've commented before that the venue for Splinter @ The Bridge excludes people with mobility difficulties, some of whom, I know, would like to attend.

Dave Parker (on Facebook) said...

Also by hiding emerging jazz musician away in an upstairs room that you have to pay to enter you are only ever going to attract people who are 'in the know'.

Lance said...

I'm not sure if the musicians who play at the Bridge, Dave, are emerging. Most have well and truly emerged. Paul Baxter, for example, has led various bands at Festivals - including a big band at Scarborough last year. As regards to being "In The Know" I think Bebop Spoken Here, Paul Bream's Jazz Alert, The Informer, The JNE fliers, the Splinter page on Facebook ensure that those interested are indeed "In the know".
I do agree with you re mobility difficulties but also appreciate the difficulties the organisers face in finding suitable venues for jazz.
As regards having to pay, well, in the absence of suitable funding, how else are the musicians going to be paid?

Brian said...

Lance has hit the nail on the head when he says the main problem for organisers is finding a 'suitable' venue for jazz. Of the many pubs, social clubs, community centres, church halls, etc. in and around Newcastle only a small number would be suitable as a jazz venue. Support and encouragement by proprietors is essential, too.
The criteria is obvious but not always easy to find:
1. LOCATION - nearby Metro station; regular bus service, etc.
2. ACCESS - downstairs good, upstairs bad (unless there's a lift)
3. CAR PARKING - secure, free and adjacent to the venue
Recently at The Millstone, the VCJ switched from the upstairs function room to the downstairs bar lounge, at the same time moving the session from evening to afternoon. We're now playing to a full house with customers arriving before midday for seats. Food and beer sales have soared - much to the delight of the pub management.

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