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Bebop Spoken There

Howlin' Wolf: “He [Charlie Patton] was a nice guy, but he just loved the bottle--like all the rest of the musicians. He was a great drinker.” – (DownBeat December 16, 1967).

Frank Zappa: “Those kids [US students] wouldn't know music if it came up and bit 'em on the ass.” – (DownBeat October 3, 1969).

Today Tuesday April 24


Classic Swing - The Ship, Front St., Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.


Maine Street Jazzmen - Royal British Legion Club, West Jesmond Ave., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 3EX. 8:30pm. £5.

Gerry Richardson Trio - The Fox, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB. Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (collection). Richardson; Garry Linsley (alto sax) & Adam Sinclair (drums).

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Great North Big Band Jazz Festival (Day 1) @ North Shore. February 28

(Review by Russell).
The opening night of the eleventh annual Great North Big Band Jazz Festival stuck to a tried and tested formula. Trumpeter Bill Watson, organiser of the mammoth event at North Shore (Sunderland University’s Student Union on Charles Street near the National Glass Centre), relies upon musicians and an unsung band of keen volunteers to make the whole thing work. Senior professional musicians working as tutors throughout the weekend took the opportunity to have a blow before the musicians of tomorrow get down to competitive action.
Competition adjudicators Mick Donnelly (tenor saxophone) and Paul Jones (alto saxophone) fronted a five piece band comprising Colin Haikney (keyboards), Neil Harland (electric bass) and Adrian Tilbrook (drums). The adjudicating pair soloed at length (Nature Boy a highlight and the boys boogied on down to Stevie Wonder), setting down a marker to the young musicians listening to the performance. The quintet showed what can be done with dedication and  no little talent. Veteran pianist Colin Haikney shared the solo spotlight and the bass and drums pairing of Neil Harland and Adrian Tilbrook did the business as one has come to expect of them. 
Whitburn Church of England Academy Big Band (MD M Anderson) competed in last year’s schools’ section and on this occasion had the honour of being invited to perform in concert. Excellent section work all round and knockout vocals from Jennie Blackburn on Birdland and a scorching R.E.S.P.E.C.T. (the first tear in the eye was timed at 9:25 pm). The Festival Band has been working with Paul Jones and others in recent months and a unique feature of the band’s set was the presence of three award winning young composers in their ranks and each one had the distinction of having their music performed on the night. Katharine Noble (piano & trumpet) sat at the piano to hear Musica played by her band mates with Paul Jones sitting in and taking an impressive solo. Take a bow Ms Noble. Alice Buhaenko (piano) composed Flourish for Big Band, how proud she must be. Take a bow Ms Buhaenko. Drummer Elizabeth Chapman wrote a tune with no name hinting at Glenn Miller and Ray Charles’ What'd I Say, so earlier in the day Liz’s Tune was born. Take a bow Ms Chapman. The all female saxophone section (two altos, two tenors and baritone) played the intro to Bill Bailey with precision, deservedly winning applause. Stardust (the Ted Heath Band arrangement) called for someone like Bill Watson to step in but he didn’t get the chance as lead trumpet Tom Hill and second trumpet Tom Parkin played maturely beyond their years. 'S Wonderful was wonderful and to round off the night Bill Watson led the ensemble on C Jam Blues. Set the alarm for Day 2 (Saturday 1 March) as things get under way at 11:00 am. With ten or more bands scheduled to perform in the Open Section (university bands and other senior outfits) followed by a winners’ concert it makes for a day of highlights, one after another.        

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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: I look forward to hearing from you.