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Bebop Spoken There

Sonny Rollins: "I work very hard. I wear out suits playing." - (Downbeat May 29, 1969.)

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Bob Brookmeyer: "The group's philosophy? We're saving to buy new uniforms - the ties wore out." - (Crescendo March 1965).

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Archives.

Today Friday March 24

Afternoon
Rendezvous Jazz - The Black Horse, Front St., Monkseaton, Whitley Bay NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.
Mick Shoulder's Swing Manouche - Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 1pm. £5. 0300 0269520
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Evening
James Harrison & Caroline Bagley- Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9pm. Free.
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Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 7:00pm.
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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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