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Bebop Spoken There

Vadim Neselovskyi, Professor of Jazz Piano, Berklee College of Music: “Every pianist has to deal with a very complex left-hand part at some point. This is the essential pianistic experience – to split your brain into two halves and execute two very different tasks at the same time.” – (Down Beat September 2017).

Roscoe Mitchell: “To me, improvisation is trying to improve your skills so you can make these on-point compositional decisions. That takes practice.” – (Down Beat September 2017)

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Today Sunday September 24

Scarborough Jazz Festival - Day three of three.
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Afternoon.
More Jam - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 3pm. Free.
Ian Harrington (solo piano) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 12:30pm. Free.
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Mick Shoulder's Swing Manouche - Claypath Delicatessen, Durham DH1 1QS. 0191 3407209. 4pm. £5.
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Blues @ The Bay - Tanner Smith's, 17-19 South Parade, Whitley Bay NE26 2RE, 0191 2525941. 4pm. Blues Jam w. Scott Wall & Charlie Philp.
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Musicians Unlimited - Park Hotel, Park Rd., Hartlepool TS26 9HU. 01249 233126.1pm. Free.
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Jazz Tones - Quakerhouse, Mechanics' Yard, Darlington DL3 7QF. 6pm. £4.
Somethin' Blue - Vesuvio, 3a Houndgate, Darlington DL1 5RL. 01325 788564. 5pm. Weekly.
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Evening
The Blueswater - Cluny, Lime St., Newcastle NE1 2PQ 0191 2304474
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Chris Martin - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Bill Harper Remembers Part 2.

I actually got to play with Bruce Adams at a Festival in Nantes 2008. Lockjaw Davis was probably the first major saxophonist for me at the Corner House. Sid's sextet was playing & I could see Lockjaw standing at the bar with his glass of milk & brandy, listening to the band. When we came off I went over to him & politely asked what he wished to play for his opener to which he replied "I'll think of something when we get up there" to which I raised the possibility that I might not know it,& he replied "So you don't know it--- what the hell-- there's 1000's of tunes, we'll play something else-- now don't you give me a hard time & put me off my drink-- I heard you play, we'll be OK. The gig was fine which had a nice moment when he called Bye Bye Blackbird to which I asked "usual key of F? No! Eb he said. Derek Dixon said "Eh!" not hearing clearly & Lockjaw said "you got a problem in Eb?" "No said Dicker, which of course he hadn't. OK  said Lockjaw, but if I hear any wrong notes I'll have you back in the office in the morning!"
I always enjoyed working with Buddy Tate who was a real gentleman & Spike Robinson, in spite of failing health always had different & interesting material but gave you a free hand to interpret his tunes which were never mundane or hackneyed. But is there a better reed man than Alan Barnes anywhere on the planet? I'd never heard him play tenor before but he does so on Spike Heatley's "One for Clifford"(2004) & is absolutely astounding. Anne & I have worked with him on numerous occasions & find him to be the most accommodating of musicians who loves a challenge. He would play on Anne's arrangements with no rehearsal, note perfect, great solos on material he couldn't possibly have even heard before. A world class musician!!! That's not to take away anything away from my all time fave tenor Scott Hamilton, plus Harry Allen & the superb Ken Peplowski on clarinet all of whom were a delight to work with on many occasions.
I have fond memories of the mini tour I did with Ken & Mark Nightingale which was fabulous but boy did they keep you on your toes. Mark kept arriving at each gig with new arrangements & compositions that he had done over night & with no opportunity to rehearse you had to be on your mettle. Ken pulled out an Al Cohn original based on the changes of Limehouse Blues & gave a lead sheet to Mark & asked "will this be OK"? Mark gave it a quick glance & said "Yes it's fine". I glanced over Mark's shoulder at his chart & couldn't believe my eyes-- it wasn't a trombone part at all & had to be transposed on site-- but also the notation was incredibly difficult to read, particularly at the breakneck speed required. I was given a private recording of the gig & the two front line were in perfect unison. Mark never missed a note on a tune he had never seen or heard before & when I asked him how difficult it had been to play, he said, "well, it wasn't very  trombone friendly"--the biggest understatement I've ever heard in my life. Also Ken did a feature on All This & Heaven Too which was absolutely gorgeous !! It confirmed for me that his tone & technique were pure perfection!(end part 2)
Bill Harper.
(Photo shows Bill Harper accompanying Red Rodney.)

2 comments :

  1. Any info on Derek Dixon were was he from

    ReplyDelete
  2. Derek Dixon lived in South Shields - Westoe Road.

    ReplyDelete

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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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