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Bebop Spoken There

Piers Paul Read: "Bruce Reynolds and Biggs shared an interest in Sex, Jazz and Hemingway." - (The Train Robbers by Piers Paul Read, Coronet Books 1979.)

George Shearing: "Speaking about Johann Sebastian Bach I think he'd be a real jazzer if he were alive today. I mean any man who has two wives, twenty kids, gets kicked out of the church for being too harmonically radical and drinks beer can't be all wrong can he?" - (Crescendo March 1984.)

Submissions for review

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.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance

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Today Thursday July 19

Afternoon

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Maine St. Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Holywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. 8:30pm. Free.

Alexys de Alfaro: Guitar Dreams with Coco Vega - Prohibition Bar, Arch 3, Brandling Street, Gateshead NE8 2BA. Doors 7:00pm. A ‘jar on the bar’ gig. Guitar & percussion.

Alter Ego - St James’ & St Basil’s Church, Fenham Hall Drive, Newcastle NE4 9EJ. 7:30pm. £10.00.

Jesse Bannister Quartet - Jazz Café, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. £10.00. (£8.00. concs.). JNE.

Northern Monkey Brass Band - Jubilee Park, Spennymoor DL16. 6:00-9:00pm. Free. Big BRASS Bash (Durham Brass Festival).

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm.

Tees Hot Club w. Donna Hewitt (alto); Josh Bentham (tenor); Dave Archbaid (keys) - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 9pm. Free.

Jazz Jam - Fire Station, High Street West, Sunderland SR1 3DT. Tel: 0191 594 7241. 8pm. Free.

Billy's Buskers: Plug in and Play - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 7:00pm. Free.

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

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Lewis Watson Quartet @ The Cherry Tree May 13.

Lewis Watson (ten); Paul Edis (ten); Paul Susans (bs); Rob Walker (dms).
(Review by Lance).
The audience tonight wasn't a collection of folk who like a bit of music with their meal. Oh no! Tonight they liked a bit of food with their music and there were several familiar jazz faces spotted enjoying the sounds coming from the stage.
And well they should. This was, in the words of Cole Porter, the Colosseum, the Louvre Museum, Mahatma Gandhi and Napoleon Brandy. Talking of Brandy, my dessert of Strawberry Eton Mess in a Brandy Snap Basket certainly was the top as indeed was the quartet's starter - Kenny Dorham's Blue Bossa. You could tell it was a jazz crowd when Watson's solo was given a round of genuine applause. They don't normally do applause here - not even for a Filet of Salmon, Confit Tomato, Cucumber and Sauce Vierge main course! The chef should have been corden blued there and then and the quartet given the freedom of Jesmond.
Tadd Dameron's Ladybird is a lovely tune and it bugged me throughout the first set trying to pick up the title - Lewis put me out of my misery later on.
The tenor player makes too few hard blowing quartet gigs these days which is a shame as no one  does 50s/60s Blue Note plus like he does.
Running the changes I marvelled at how many notes he could cram into one angular phrase - this was reminiscent of Tubbs, Johnny Griffin, Giant Steps and more - much more.
Darn That Dream, which seemed strangely like How Insensitive at times, offered a change of pace - a deep, doomy bossa that tugged at the emotions.
There were no announcements apart from "We're going to take a short break" which meant I couldn't put titles to all the tunes. Like Sonny, Joyspring and Footprints were some of the gems - all played superbly.
If I seem to have concentrated on Lewis at the expense of the others it's only because this was a rare appearance but one to savour - just like the Rare Roast Beef Salad with Roquefort Cheese, New Potatoes and Watercress.
Needless to say Paul Edis was his usual self  feeding the chords to Lewis before bursting forth with his own immaculate conception. Rob Walker drove the bus with his foot rarely off the accelerator whilst Paul Susans was living proof as to how well endowed we are with quality bass players in the North East.
Lance.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Sometimes the reviewers on this blog express concern about the age of the audiences for jazz gigs and query where the young fans are. However they need not worry, for as I got into my place at the Cherrytree I had to squeeze past a sweet young child who was no more than two or three. The fact that he was lying stretched out asleep on the bench seat and remained so throughout the two sets by the Lewis Watson Quartet is surely a minor point. At least he was there!
This recalled a time I and my accompanist arrived in New York off a long flight from London and I insisted on heading straight down to Greenwich Village. Don Pullen was playing in the Village Vanguard (I think) with a ferocious young woman drummer and they were building up a storm. We got a seat in the front row and despite her best efforts, my accompanist started to nod off after the first few numbers. Fortunately, the band seemed to think the closed eyes indicated deep listening concentration and we survived.
The last time I was at the Cherrytree the musicians were straight from the GIJF. This time three of them were from the even more venerable Lit &Phil and had just received the accolade of last week's 'gig of the year'. Although they were playing slightly less philosophical music in this venue, their musical empathy and effortless rapport shone through and the fourth member of the group, Paul Susans, fitted in perfectly. This is such a good quartet with both Lewis Watson and Paul Edis constructing sparkling improvisations and Rob Walker creating a infinite variety of effects on drums with his hands, brushes and sticks. The tone from Watson's tenor, whether playing fast or slow, is just beautiful.
As has been mentioned there were not a lot of announcements, however at the end of the second set LW decided to introduce the band. By this stage what had been a good crowd was reduced to a handful of enthusiasts. I was reminded of similar circumstances at the end of a gig early in the career of the famous Irish traditional band, Planxty, where Donal Lunny introduced the band members to the sparse audience and when he had finished said, 'And what are your names?'
This is a great quartet that should be playing more often and, when they do, they are not to be missed. Definitely this week's 'gig of the year'!
JC

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About this blog - contact details.

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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