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Bebop Spoken There

Randy Brecker: "It's still a thrill for me today to stand out front of a big band as the soloist and hear all that sound going on behind you. It brings the best out of me" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Monday May 20

Afternoon

Jazz

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

?????

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

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

GIJF – Day Two: Andrew McCormack & Jason Yarde with the Elysian String Quartet

Andrew McCormack (piano), Jason Yarde (alto & soprano saxophones), Emma Smith (violin), Jennymay Logan (violin), Charles Cross (viola) & Laura Moody (cello)
(Review by Russell)
Pianist Andrew McCormack and Jason Yarde (reeds) established their duo partnership some six years ago and subsequently visited Gateshead to perform at the Old Town Hall. This festival engagement previewed material written for a new CD project working with the Elysian String Quartet. Hall Two at Sage Gateshead regularly stages classical chamber music concerts and the intimate tiered space engaged musician and audience in an absorbing one hour set.

McCormack and Yarde introduced their compositions in an informative, informal manner, emphasising the collaborative element of jazz and contemporary  new music. The Elysians specialise in the field of  ‘experimental’ or ‘new’ music (they have worked with Polar Bear). Improvised sections notated in the score freed the string players from time to time as McCormack and Yarde, the natural improvisers, developed ideas. The composers – the jazz players – conducted with little more than a nod of the head. An enterprise such as this could only work – and it did – with exceptionally talented musicians being fully committed to it.
A feature of the performance was the musicians’ clear enjoyment in performing the music. Yarde created labyrinthine solos (alto and soprano), somehow finding his way out of the maze, McCormack and the Elysians with him all the way. McCormack’s compositions – typically percussive new-jazz/non-jazz repeated motifs – heard the Elysians immersed in dense note clusters, the tension released with a change of direction by, variously, one of the violins (Emma Smith and Jennymay Logan) or Charles Cross’ viola or the expressive cello playing of Laura Moody.
Jason Yarde, a born communicator, looked across the auditorium and asked: How about some audience participation? Yeah was the overwhelming response (it should be stated that some of us, the minority, do not go to jazz gigs to have a good time!) and it took the form of members of the audience calling out a note. D said one, G said another, E and so on. Then a number…9 (McCormack looked askance!), 2 said another. Okay said Yarde. The sextet would now create an instant composition based upon keys and time signatures as suggested by the audience! McCormack and Yarde would do it, no doubt about it. The Elysians? They too did it, consummate musicians all. How they did it is beyond mere mortals (McCormack would shortly return to the stage to play sensational swinging piano with Jean Toussaint – see LL’s review). Viola player Charles Cross was a late dep in the Elysians’ line-up. He read his part off the page. Top man Mr Cross! The McCormack-Yarde creative partnership would appear to have much mileage left in it. It will be interesting to see which direction they have taken the next time they park the tour bus at Sage Gateshead.

Russell.

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