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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)

Archives

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.

Friday, October 18, 2013

James Birkett & Bradley Johnston @ Lit & Phil.

James Birkett (guitar) & Bradley Johnston (guitar)
(Review by Russell/Photo by Jerry)
Bradley Johnston first came to the attention of Bebop Spoken Here at Blaydon Jazz Club  playing a couple of numbers during the interval with James Birkett. At the time Johnston was about fourteen or fifteen years of age. He made a huge impression then, now, three or four years later, something of a veteran, he continues to win plaudits for his fearless, yet sensitive approach to some challenging material. He has enrolled on the BMus degree programme at Sage Gateshead (his tutor is none other than Dr.J.Birkett) and can be heard gigging around town with Birkett or in the company of his fellow students.
This lunchtime date at the Lit & Phil in Newcastle was another marker along the way. A full house, everyone listening intently, the dynamic duo could be forgiven for having stage fright. So, what did they do? They dusted down Dick McDonough’s StageFright! Nerves settled – it looked like there were none – Birkett announced that Johnston would take Joe Venuti’s violin part on Stringing the Blues, Birkett later suggested he himself could be ‘Blind Willie’ Birkett!
The duo played acoustic or (lightly amplified) electric guitars. The material was a delight; Wave, Morris Dance/Fisco Place (Bireli Lagrene), John Lewis’ elegant waltz Skating on Central Park. Birkett, the master guitarist, made brief, informative announcements and then proceeded to play classic jazz guitar – the pioneers of the twenties and thirties, bossa, Hot Club, bop to contemporary hero Pat Metheny. This would have been a solo master class but we had Bradley Johnston sitting alongside him so we got twice the brilliance for our money. Worth every penny.
Birkett took the time to introduce Johnston’s new guitar prior to the Lagrene number. Made by South Korean luthier Jeongwoo Cho, the Maccaferri-style instrument sounded great, as did Birkett’s. The applause said it all. The hour long survey of jazz guitar included a terrific take on Anthropology, so-sensitive lead from Johnston on Farmer’s Trust (P.Metheny) and the finale – Chick Corea’s Spain. It works every time – huge applause.
An after thought…at the Newcastle International Jazz Festival (yes, there was such a thing) and at gigs in the bar of the University Theatre (now Northern Stage) a then young guitarist made a great impression. He went on to play with Ian Carr. His name? Mark Wood. I’d be willing to bet that Bradley Johnston goes on to make a name for himself. For up to date news of Birkett and Johnston gigs check out www.jamesbirkettmusic.com
Russell.
          


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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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