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Bebop Spoken There

Jeff Lindberg: "You can have innovative new music and you can play music of the masters. They're not going to cancel each other out" - (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 Sunday May 26

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. Free.

Musicians Unlimited - Park Inn, Park Road, Hartlepool TS26 9HU. Tel: 01429 233126. 1:00pm (doors 12 noon). Free.

More Jam - The Globe, Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 3:00pm. Free.

Jazz Social - Charts, Quayside, Newcastle NE1 3DX. Tel: 0191 338 7989. 4:00pm. Free. Jam session with house trio.

Northern Monkey Brass Band - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 11:30am (street set) & 1:00pm stage set. Whitley Bay Carnival.

Somethin' Blue - Vesuvio, Houndgate, Darlington DL1 5RL. Tel: 01325 788564. 5:00-7:00pm. Free.

Geordie Jazz Man - The Exchange, Howard Street, North Shields NE30 1SE. Tel: 0191 258 4111. 5:30pm. £10.00. Screening of Abbie Lewis’ documentary film about Keith Crombie & the Jazz Café.

Gavin Lee: Reg Wall's New Orleans Ragtime Band - Shotton Colliery Officials Club, Shotton Colliery DH6 2JS. 5:30pm.

Blues

King Snake - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 3:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Back to Basics - Quakerhouse, Mechanics' Yard, Darlington DL3 7QF. Tel: 01325 245052. 6:15pm. Free. Set lists available, for details Facebook Darlington Jazz Club.

Federica Michisanti’s Trioness - Bridge Hotel, Castle Garth, Newcastle NE1 1RQ. Tel: 0191 260 3246. 8:15pm. £10.00 (£8.00 conc.). JNE.

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

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Robert Cray Band + Jon Allen @ The Sage Gateshead. March 11, 2013

(Review by Russell)
The blues greats are all but long gone - Buddy Guy is still around, Taj Mahal, Dr.John, very few others (Magic Slim left us a little over two weeks ago). The next generation (no longer young guns) includes one Robert Cray. British blues aficionados were quick to pick up on Cray when he was little known, his earliest recordings on the Tomato label prized possessions (some collectors sought Japanese imports).
One of Cray’s first gigs on Tyneside attracted those-in-the-know to the Students’ Union of Newcastle University. Decades later the man from Columbus, Georgia, USA walked out onto the stage of Hall One at the Sage Gateshead to a considerably larger following! Cray said it was a pleasure to be back at the Sage Gateshead, turned to his band mates and said: Let’s get to it! 
Cray’s band - the long serving Jim Pugh (keyboards) and bassist Richard Cousins with Les Falconer on drums - tours the world more or less non-stop, resulting in the tightest of professional performances. Ninety minutes of classic Cray material - from his latest CD Nothin But Love to a spoilt-for-choice back catalogue - flew by. The sound was superb, testament to Lord Foster’s building design, the talents of the in-house technicians at the Sage and Cray’s road crew. Cray’s incomparable soul-blues voice, undiminished after years of life on the road, at one with his signature Fender Strat guitar sound, is a rare combination.
Strong Persuader and Smoking Gun were but two of many highlights. Organist Jim Pugh drove Cray to ever greater heights, Richard Cousins’ sinuous bass lines floated then danced, then floated and danced some more and Les Falconer’s in-the-pocket drumming was a master class. Cray’s vocals - arguably non better since Sam Cooke - left one thinking the next number couldn’t possibly be as good as the last, but it was, time and again. The wrought emotion of Chicken in the Kitchen has to be one of the best things heard in the nine year history of the Sage.
Robert Cray’s guest on this tour is Jon Allen. Singer, songwriter, guitarist, harmonica player, Allen was a revelation. Unannounced, the man with the Ford Focus (he felt inclined to tell us) strode onto stage and sang with no little confidence. Possessing a strong voice with an edge to it (think Steve Marriott, the best of early Rod the Mod) he writes songs about situations (Dead Man’s Suit) and relationships (Happy Now). Great voice, great lyrics, perhaps best  illustrated by Happy Now The lyric, delivered despairingly, if not with distain, goes…’I hope you’re happy now?’ Great stuff. Allen likes vinyl. His material is available on LP or the lesser option - CD. Check out Jon Allen, he’s good.
A great night at the Sage drew to a close with Robert Cray about to walk off stage yet he had the presence of mind to thank his special guest Jon Allen. Robert Cray is a class act.
Russell.                                  


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