Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Aubrey Logan: "I chose trombone because trombone just kicks my ass, and I needed to do something that was hard" - (DownBeat June 2019).

Archive

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 Wednesday May 22

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Julija Jacenaite & Alan Law - Jazz Café, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 261 5618. 2:00pm. Free. Café Mezzanine (first floor, access via crafts shop).

Evening

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £1.00.

Blues

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8:30pm. Free.

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

Thursday, April 11, 2013

GIJF: Day 1 - Stonephace Stabbins featuring Zoe Rahman.

"Stonephace" Stabbins, (saxes and flute), Zoe Rahman (piano), Pat Illingworth (drums), Crispin"Spry" Robinson (percussion), Karl Rasheed Abel (bass).
(Review by JC.)
Although I like to think I keep in touch with what's happening in music, sometimes a name or a group are mentioned that I have to admit I've never heard of.  Larry "Stonephace" Stabbins was one of these names and the group that was mentioned in connection with him, Working Week, was another. However, in my defence, looking up the internet, it seems they came to prominence in the 1980s when I was in rural seclusion living in a tiny village in deepest Northumberland. So access to music was quite limited and although it was rumoured that there were brilliant Northumbrian pipers, fiddle and harmonica playing shepherds somewhere about, I never heard any of them and the only gig I went to in 8 years was the Ray Stubbs One Man Band in a pub in the next village. However, I would have thought the name 'Stonephace' might have stood out in the cultural ether, as even among the hard biitten characters living in tiny  snow bound cottages in the Northumberland hills, it was not that common a title.
So although I'd never heard of him, the previews on BSH were insistant, saying 'Whatever you do, don't miss Stonephace Stabbins' and as I saw that Zoe Rahman was playing as well that was good enough for me. As it happened circumstances meant that I couldn't get to any of the earlier shows so having a gig that didn't start until 10.30pm was perfect. The gig was in the Northern Rock Hall, which is not my favourite performance space as the ceiling is too high and it's hard to get an intimate atmosphere. But none of that mattered, as from the first couple of notes of Coltrane's Africa, I was hooked. 
The band started on a high and carried on upwards. The music was from their latest album Transcendence and channels the intense emotional feel of Coltrane's spiritual jazz. I knew none of the tunes but that didn't matter, Stabbins and the band were terrific. Zoe Rahman had the piano under her complete control with spiky chords and rippling solos. If my piano teacher had told me, as she tried to get me to practice Greensleeves, that it was okay to give the keyboard an ecstatic forearm smash every so often (as Zoe did) I'd still be playing. The rest of the band were equally great, laying down a consistently innovative groove for the sax and piano to sweep over and featuring individually at numerous points. 
It was a great set of exciting, high energy music which got an attentive response but not quite the lively enthusiasm it absolutely deserved.  Stonephace himself was very affable, telling stories about buying Coltrane's album when he was 13 and getting chucked out of a mainstream band he was playing in at the time because he tried out one of JC's solos, much to the chagrin of the bandleader. I, of course, bought the CD after the gig and it's great, if not quite as exciting as the gig. But then the gig's not on every night.
I may not have known about Stonephace Stabbins last week - but I do now!
Addendum - the Raquel Welch phenomenon
Checking out Stonephace Stabbins web site when I got home, I was delighted to find that there was a great video of the Africa track, with excellent sound and quite psychedelic visuals. However, although not wanting to sound like a movie 'anorak' as in 'Why is Raquel Welch wearing a watch with her sabre-toothed tiger bikini in that scene from 3000 years BC', I couldn't help noticing that Zoe seems to change her top at least once, if not twice, over the course of the track and that at some points, when she seems to be playing Tyner like chords on the piano, there are rippling runs coming over the sound track. Maybe that's transcendence for you.
JC

No comments :

Blog Archive

Subscribe!