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Bebop Spoken There

Ben Pollack: "The kind of people who go for the old style New Orleans jazz are the same kind of people who go in for collecting antiques." - (Down Beat May 5, 1950).

Flip Phillips: "I heard this band out in California. I think - Lu Waters, isn't it? They sure can march down the street but I wouldn't want to march with them!" - (Down Beat June 15, 1951).

Today Sunday June 25

Afternoon.
Joel Byrne McCullough (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 12:30pm. Free.
Mitch Laddie Band - Tyne Bar, Maling St., Newcastle. 3pm. Free.
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.
Somethin' Blue - Vesuvio, 3a Houndgate, Darlington DL1 5RL. 01325 788564. 5pm. Weekly.
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Tyne Valley Big Band - Herding Hill Farm, Shield Hill, Haltwhistle NE49 9NW. 2pm. Support from Tyne Valley Youth Jazz Ensemble. 01434 320175.
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Evening
Jake Steels Quintet - Quakerhouse, Mechanics' Yard, Darlington DL3 7QF. 6pm.
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Hokum Hotshots-- Billy Bootleggers - 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. 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 26, 2014

“TIMEO DANAOS ET DONA FERENTES”? Vasilis Xenopoulos - The Wind Machine @ St. Cuthbert's Centre, Crook April 25

Vasilis Xenopoulos (ten); Martin Shaw  (tpt/flg); Paul Edis (pno); Andy Champion (bs); Matt Home (dms). 
(Review and photos by Jerry).
If Virgil had been at Crook last night, he’d have hated the rat-grey, mizzly weather but he’d never have penned that line about fearing the Greeks even when bearing gifts! Aided by two “local heroes” (his words, not mine) and by two top-class London-based colleagues, Vasilis brought his considerable gifts (and chirpy, Mediterranean charm) and took Crook by storm, not by stealth.
As at the Bridge, last night, they stormed through Four Brothers and Splanky on which I fully understood Lance’s comment about the BIG sound generated by these five splendid musicians. Altogether more gentle on the senses, Tin Tin Deo brought mesmerising Latin rhythms and a tasty flugelhorn solo (accompanied by tempting smells from the kitchen of pizza cooking for the interval!).
“Ballad Medleys”, one in each half, demonstrated that these guys could do subtle and seductive as well as storming. We had Bewitched, My One and Only Love (first set) then Prelude to a Kiss and Sophisticated Lady (second set). Bewitched we were! Subtlety and great harmonies too on Dizzy Gillespie’s ground-breaking bebop / Latin mix, Con Alma, (correctly translated by Vas as “With Soul”).
“That’s his best” was my comment after each player’s solo – until the next one! They just seemed to get better and better as the evening progressed and there was so much dazzling technique for this “jazznoramus” to watch, listen to and wonder at. On Our Delight, for example Shaw’s muted trumpet, almost swallowing the microphone, produced amazing low notes which had me looking to see if some other instrument had arrived onstage unannounced! He and Vas closed Brookmeyer’s Fun Club with a quiet (improvised?) duet – a kind of horn-duel – the like of which I have not previously heard. Magical! It was great, too, to see drumming up close – so often the drummer is hidden away at the back – and to register the variety of techniques deployed by Matt Home from thunderous solos to the softest of brushing. As for the “local heroes”, if pressed to nominate a “best” solo, I’d plump for Paul’s on Short Story and Andy’s on Fun Club.
I’ve not mentioned, so far, The Groove Merchant which closed the first set, Corner Pocket, which punched holes in the second and the powerful (“frenetic” in a good way) Wind Machine which rounded off the evening. So there you have it: a fairly brief review for an epic gig…
Thanks, as ever, to all at Crook for the candles, nibbles, pizzas and genuine warmth which makes this a great place to be, even on a foul night.
Jerry

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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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