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Bebop Spoken There

Orrin Evans: “I’d like to see a younger audience and an audience that looks more like me at the clubs.” – (Down Beat November 2014).

Kevin Flanagan: "Besides, I'd got sick of playing jazz to people who looked like my father." - (Straight No Chaser Issue 0ne Summer 1988.)

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Today Thursday August 17

Afternoon
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., nr. Newcastle NE27 0DA. 1:oopm. Free.
Rendezvous Jazz - Tynemouth Metro Station, Station Tce., Tynemouth NE30 4RE. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
Indigo Jazz Voices - Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4. 7:30pm. £5.
Maine Street Jazzmen - Potter's Wheel, Sunniside NE16 5EE. 8:30pm. Free.
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Tees Valley Jazzmen - White Horse Hotel, Burtree Lane, Harrogate Hill, Darlington DL1 3AD. 1:30pm. Free.
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Tees Hot Club w.Kevin Eland (trumpet); Mark Toomey (alto); Dave Archibold (keys)- Dormans, Oxford Rd., Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Free. 9pm.
New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton TS18 4AW. 8:30pm.01642 678129.
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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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