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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 Tuesday September 26

Afternoon
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Black Bull, 98 Front St., East Boldon NE36 0SG. 1pm. Free. 0191 5365127. 2nd of 6 consecutive gigs. 2 mins from East Boldon metro.
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Evening
Maine Street Jazzmen - Royal British Legion, West Jesmond Ave., Newcastle NE2 3EX. 8:30pm. £5.
Charles Gordon (solo piano) - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Newcastle. 10pm - midnight. 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

Mary Coughlan @ Caedmon Hall, Gateshead. October 17

Mary Coughlan (vcl); Steve Watts (pno); Jamie Lawson (gtr/vcl); Pauline Murray (gtr/vcl).
(Review by Lance.)
Mary Coughlan has lived the life, known the pain and came through it as an artist capable of talking about and overcoming her demons and, ultimately, turning them into some of the most heartfelt and impassioned works of art heard in recent years. This was hardly a jazz gig although the sheer depth of emotion displayed evoked the spirit of Billie Holiday and Judy Garland without sounding remotely like either.
Coughlan is unique - her own woman - a singer revered the world over who drew a good crowd into Caedmon Hall including some of the few who'd bought tickets for Wednesday night's Darlo gig that was cancelled because of poor ticket sales. No such problem tonight at this Tyneside Irish Festival/Jumpin' Hot Club event, the audience soon filled up the cabaret style set up and when the lady came on for the final set they gobbled up every word from her - blarney and all.

Just a Friend of Mine, a song about a ménage-a-trois, not only had an amusing lyric sung very effectively but also some great piano from Watts, a young man to watch out for. Guitarist Lawson who'd earlier played a solo support slot augmented the duo  for a song "written", said Mary, "By my first ex-husband!". Forgotten the title - it could have been Lost Without the Double Cross.
Heartbreak Hotel, just piano and voice, brought forth a delicacy that eluded Elvis all those years ago. Once again Watts knew what's what. Ancient Rain and a poignant rendition of Love Will Tear Us Apart were more cutting edge examples of Coughlan's craft - she gets to the nitty gritty of a sung and makes it her own.
We weren't letting her go that easy and they returned for I'd Rather Go Blind wrapping things up perfectly. Not surprisingly, a lot of CDs were sold afterwards.
The evening had begun with a solo set from the former lead singer of '70s punk band  Penetration, Pauline Murray (left), who, 35 years on, didn't look a day older than she did then!
I suspect this was her first solo gig yet she handled it well. Accompanying herself on acoustic guitar Murray's voice retains a punk edge to it and her program of "dark" songs, mainly in a minor key, set the mood for an evening of delightful depression (my phrase). There were few happy songs from any of the three artists yet these songs of inner torment made this audience very happy!.
Jamie Lawson had more of a country feel to his voice and the amplified guitar a smoother sound. I particularly liked It's Cold in Ohio (but warm next to you.). It was a good set that whetted our appetites for the "Main Event". In the top photo Jamie is directly behind Coughlan with Watts bringing up the rear.
Lance.

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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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