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Bebop Spoken There

Michael Feinstein: “Fred Astaire is my favorite singer. To me, he was the perfect interpreter of American popular song.” – (Jazz Times December 2014).

Bud Shank: “Once I saw California – that was it, I stayed.” – (Jazz Journal May 1991)

Archives.

Today Wednesday February 22

Afternoon.
Vieux Carre Jazzmen - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. £1. 8pm.
Lindsay Hannon - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 7:30pm. No cover charge.
Chris Sharkey Trio - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8ppm. £4 (Students free).
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Cancelled this week only. Levee Ramblers NOJB - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Road, Springwell, Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:30pm. £3.00. Cancelled.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Roger Beaujolais Quartet/Greg Spero @ The Recital Room, Newcastle University. May 15.










Roger Beaujolais (vibes), Robin Aspland (piano), Simon Thorpe (double bass) & Winston Clifford (drums) + Greg Spero (piano) 
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew).
Jazz North East’s presentation of the Roger Beaujolais Quartet benefited from the late addition of a short opening set by pianist Greg Spero. JNE’s regulars turned up as ever, Spero turned up in the nick of time, sat at the Steinway, composed himself and trusting  in the instrument, started to play.
Spero’s Chicagoan band mates had made the cross-country journey to hear him play – that’s loyalty for you! – and were happy to stand at the back of the room with a bottle of Marston’s Pedigree in hand. Spero played for about twenty five minutes improvising on Victor Young’s When I Fall in Love. The university’s piano clearly met with his approval, head bowed, deep in concentration, muttering from time to time as many a jazz pianist has done down the years. Keen to play on, he got the nod (another five minutes), asked what kind of audience he was playing to: Would you like to hear a ballad or some blues? The immediate consensus was for the latter, the blues – think One O’clock Jump saloon barChicago style!
The Roger Beaujolais Quartet returned in good time from a pre-concert meal to catch the end of Greg Spero’s set. Pianist Robin Aspland was impressed! Beaujolais opened with Wes Montgomery’s Full House playing to a three quarters full house. Aspland, a first rate player in his own right, relished the opportunity to play such a good piano and threw in a quote (the first of many) from Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise. Drummer Winston Clifford featured on Milton Nascimento’s Vera Cruz contributing the first of two extended solos. Beaujolais said he liked to play ballads. It was the only time he could hear all the notes he was playing, said the vibes man. Turning to his fellow musicians he said: No offence, guys! So he played Milt Jackson’s Heartstrings telling the audience the number was one of a handful of Jackson’s tunes that wasn’t a blues. An original composition – Joe Beam – took its inspiration from the boss of bossa nova Antonio Carlos Jobim. The quartet’s new CD featured throughout the evening and the title track – Mind the Gap – owed more than a little to So What.
The Americans and the Brits saw off the first case of Pedigree, a further supply emerged from the boot of a parked car (all legit, honest guv’nor), the raffle prizes, two of them, went to lucky ticket holders sitting next to one another (Fix! Fix!)…The second set began with another Beaujolais tune called Yes or No. Affable, dressed in a double breasted suit, the Yorkshire-based vibes man certainly knows his instrument, playing with ease during the evening. Bassist Simon Thorpe, the swinging anchor in the band, stepped forward on Admission Impossible, soloing impressively, then without fuss, resumed his unobtrusive rhythm duties. Aspland quoted liberally and bluesily – fast, fleetingly, gone – on another original number – Bad Connection. It connected with the audience! RB likes his ballads, so he said. One of the tunes of the night was Duke Pearson’s Cristo Redemptor with the main man on top form. RB flashed his Vibes Union membership card, calling Bobby Hutcherson’s Highway One and just before Beaujolais and co hit the A1 they left us with Shuffle the Cards. An ace of a gig.
Ken Drew photos.     
Russell.

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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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