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Bebop Spoken There

Miles Kington: "If the intake of alcohol fails to improve a jazz player's performance, why do jazz listeners think it improves their appreciation?" - (Jazz Express October 1982).

Barbara Jay: "My first gig was at the Astoria, Charing Cross Rd. It seemed like a den of iniquity to me. All the Soho girls were there and the gigolos with their old women paying them to dance..." - (Jazz UK May 2008.)

Archives.

Today Sunday February 26.

Afternoon.
Mark Williams (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 12:30pm. Free.
More Jam - Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 3pm. Free.
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Blues @ The Bay - Tanner Smith's 17-19 South Parade, Whitley Bay NE26 2RE, 0191 2525941. 4pm. Free. 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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Evening
Maine St. Jazzmen - Seaton Sluice Social Club, Collywell Bay Rd., Seaton Sluice NE26 4QZ. 8pm. £4.
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Shaun Henderson Band - Quakerhouse, Mechanics Yard, Darlington. 6pm. £5.
Jazz Jam - Empty Shop, 35c Framwellgate Bridge, Durham DH1 4SY. 7:30pm. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

GIJF - Day One. Norrbotten Big Band, Django Bates, Northern Monkey Brass Band, Djangologie. Sage Gateshead, April 4.

Norrbotten Big Band: Joakin Milder (trn/md).
Django Bates (pno); Peter Eldh (bs); Martin France (dms).
(Review by Lance).
I'm unfamiliar with the music of Prefab Sprout. I shouldn't be, their "roots" are in the north east and, in my 9 - 5 days, I sold them many a guitar string - sometimes even a set - so I have no excuse. In truth, I'm none the wiser and the infatuation with them by this Swedish band remains a mystery. Nevertheless, the arrangements were good and the soloists impressive.
The big problem for me wasn't an audio one but a visual one. The rhythm section occupied the front of the stage with brass and reed sections obscured from view - at least they were from my seat in row D.
I could hear them but couldn't see them! I wanted to see the trumpets standing and reaching for the stars, the trombones blending mellifluously and the saxes weaving their intricate lines together as one. This they all did of course but it was like hearing a football match on radio rather than being in the stands.
That niggle aside it was an enjoyable set with some impressive drumming (mainly with mallets) by Lisbeth Diers.
Django Bates and cohorts took up their stance in front of the big band and Django treated us to his take on his "Dearly Beloved Bird". I'd heard him do this at a previous Sage concert with the quartet but this was the first time I'd heard him do it with a larger ensemble.
I enjoyed it. The mix of original takes on Charlie Parker associated numbers such as Donna Lee, Ah Leu Cha, Star Eyes, My Little Suede Shoes, Laura and Confirmation along with Bates' own The Study of Touch and We're Not Lost We Are Simply Finding Our Way made this an interesting start to the festival.
I stay start but in fact the whole shebang actually started earlier on the Concourse when the Northern Monkey Brass Band (pictured left) made their way to the stage, meandering individually from various nooks and crannies of the vast space. A trumpet to the left of us, a trombone to the right, a bass drum that seemingly walked across the water and others emerging from out of nowhere until, eventually, they converged as one on stage in a glorious cacophony of sound and the stomping proper began.
Later, on the Concourse, we left one Django for another - Djangologie. 
After the intensity of Hall One this was like the first breath of spring. The quartet filling the area (and the air) with music. Nothing pretentious just good old fashioned (and I use that expression in the best possible way) swing. Nothing could follow that for me!
The Best Things in Life are Free? Sometimes they are!
Lance (Photo courtesy of Ken Drew).

1 comment :

  1. "Dearly Beloved Bird" with the big band was played beautifully, by fantastic musicians but I found it hard to enjoy. Music from the head not the heart? Bill Frisell though, saw him in Leeds last night, definitely from the heart, you're in for a treat! Steve

    ReplyDelete

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About this blog - contact details.

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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