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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 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.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Leo Blanco @ Sage Gateshead July 5.

Leo Blanco (piano).
(Review by Lance).
A solo piano recital that defied definition although brilliant will do for starters. The tall, slightly greying, Venezuelan pianist nodded to the audience before sitting at the Steinway. It was a percussive start as Blanco got into his rhythm by stamping his feet, clapping his hands, slapping his thighs and having a few raps on the wood of the grand piano - it set up a groove for him  to start rolling.
And roll he did. From South America to Africa to maybe the Moon. This was a composition, like most of his repertoire, that crossed the genre. It was indefinable, impossible to pigeonhole, wait a minute, of course it's definable - it's Music!
Each piece featured multi rhythms, changes of mood - from fff bravura flourishes to ppp tenderness - Czerny on Tequila.
Occasionally an almost imperceptible smile fleetingly appeared as he executed some technically demanding phrase, almost as if he were saying, "I made it!"
The piano really is the greatest orchestra in the world and never more so than in this man's hands. The jazz content was maybe slight but who cared it was compulsive listening as thundering appassionata passages merged into melancholic tenderness.
Gateshead on a Sunday Afternoon was the title he gave to one piece although I'm sure I've heard it on YouTube with a different title! An improvised piece with a hint of Tea For Two and later Jeepers Creepers it again displayed his awesome technique. Dramatic, with strange, but not displeasing, harmonies it brought the first set to a close. Touchingly, he looked at the Steinway and applauded the magnificent shiny beast.
Apart from displaying his faultless technique Blanco also engaged the audience with odd bits of information eg; in Venezuela the cows are all given individual names!
A piece celebrating Afro/Peruvian music preceded an Arabic influenced composition that saw the pianist remove the music rack and produce some oud-like sounds from the piano strings before blowing up a desert storm on the 88 notes. This was wild then, suddenly, it mellowed  An oasis in the tempest or was it a mirage?
At times he appeared to be singing along with his phrases. we couldn't hear him but it was so well synced we didn't need to.
And then it was over and our heartbeats returned to near normal - it had been that sort of night.
Well done to The Sage and the Vamos! Festival for combining to produce such a memorable evening.
Lance.

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Slightly greying?

Lance said...

Yeah I suppose there are degrees of greyness - I have passed the 'slightly' level! Who cares? it was what he did with the black and whites that counted.
Hope you enjoyed the concert.

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