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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, February 28, 2014

James Birkett & Bradley Johnston @ The Lit & Phil. February 26

(Review by Russell)
The Lit & Phil’s imposing upstairs library accommodated a ‘select’ audience seated between the books stacks (Northern Primitive Methodism to one side, weighty tomes of Ezra Pound the other). A bottle of Wylam’s Rocket an apposite choice given the library’s historic association with the pioneering engineering Stephensons (George and Robert). James Birkett and Bradley Johnston play jazz guitar – Birkett the master musician, Johnston the immensely talented student. Birkett has played at the highest level for many years, Johnston practices for many hours every day and one day soon he too will be up there.
The programme encompassed jazz guitar from the twenties and thirties – Eddie Lang (Blue Room), Carl Kress and Dick McDonough to Django to Bonfa to Pat Metheny. Some of the music’s great composers (and musicians) – Bird, Brubeck, John Lewis – featured during two relaxed sets. Bossa began the programme (Jobim’s Wave), Nuages seemingly de rigueur, Morris Dance (comp. Keith Morris/James Birkett) and Birelli Lagrene’s Fisco Place, the enchanting Skating in Central Park, tunes for guitarists and fans of classic jazz guitar. Bradley Johnston, the junior partner, soloed fearlessly, fingers spiralling off the fretboard. Birkett, with a few more gigs under his belt than Johnston, constructed solos most can but dream of and fewer still can match. Billie’s Bounce and Oleo put the bebop era in context (and in its place!) and the show-stopper, beloved of guitarists the world over – Chick Corea’s Spain – elicited the ‘wow!’ factor. Birkett and Johnston are gigging throughout the north east in the coming months, keep checking Bebop Spoken Here for details of where and when.            
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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