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Bebop Spoken There

Craig Taborn: "Every sound you make is a choice, and it's a choice made in relation to everything happening around you" - (DownBeat, May 2019).

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Today Thursday April 18

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

DJazz: Durham City Jazz Festival Launch - Courtyard Café, Palace Green Library, Palace Green, Durham DH1 3RN. 7:00pm. £5.00. Featuring Hand to Mouth: Lindsay Hannon & Bradley Johnston.

JR Trio - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £6.00. (£3.00. student). Line-up: James Romaine (alto sax); Asaph Tal (double bass); Kai Chareunsy (drums). Birmingham Conservatoire student trio. Gig replaces Francis Tulip Quintet (to be rescheduled).

Archipelago + Paul Taylor - Lit & Phil, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SE. Tel: 0191 232 0192. 7:45pm. £8.00. (£6.00. concs). JNE.

Anth Purdy - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free. Tees Hot Club: Dormans Jazz Festival.

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

Joseph Carville Trio - Bar Loco, Leazes Park Road, Newcastle NE1 4PG. Tel: 0191 232 5871. 8:00pm. Free. Carville (piano), Allan Peat (double bass), Mark Rayner (drums).

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

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Book Review: Off Key by Mark Robertson.

(Just a reminder that Mark Robertson's excellent first novel is officially launched this Saturday June 28 - follow this link to learn more - Lance)
The definitive jazz novel, in my opinion, has yet to be written despite the efforts of many well known literary figures. Evan Hunter's Second Ending perhaps came closest - until now that is.
Mark Robertson's Off Key could only be written by someone at the heart of a provincial jazz scene and whilst I'm sure it isn't semi-autobiographical, the characters and situations are so familiar and, occasionally, thinly disguised it might well be. The fact that it's set in the north-east adds credence to the theory. 
Fiction it well may be, but it does relate to life in the jazz lane - The grotty gigs out in the wilds with an audience of three, the rusting band van forever breaking down, the wayward self-destructing genius, the struggle to maintain a home life with a jazz life, the conflicting personalities in any group of two or more (in this case four) etc.
Mark Robertson has successfully merged all these ingredients and more into 108,000 words - not one of which I skipped - particularly page 262 where a well known jazz blog is mentioned!
Off Key began life as a screenplay before surfacing as a novel.. If it ever reverts to its original format the BBC or ITV will have no problem with the casting - they're all in a jazz club near you.
The author's cover comment "The greatest story ever told about love ... and jazz (in Sunderland)" perhaps needs to be amended to cover a wider area! Highly recommended.
Mark Robertson's novel, Off Key  is published by Matador Press and available now.
ISBN: 9781784620073 - Paperback; £8.99 
eISBN: 9781784626785 - ebook: £2.99
Lance.
Synopsis. 
OFF-KEY BY MARK ROBERTSON                             
THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD ABOUT LOVE and jazz . . . in Sunderland.
Once unheard of, Charlotte and Kyle’s relationship is becoming ever more commonplace in today’s society. She is the breadwinner and Kyle, in his own eyes at least, is a musical genius. Should Charlotte accept playing second fiddle to a saxophone or should she listen to her best friend, Dainty.
 “One day you’ll wake up. Kyle will be gone and you’ll be left with a basket of dirty Y fronts and ovaries that look like walnuts.”
Will Charlotte take Dainty’s advice and go?  And if she does what is left for Kyle? Only an autistic boy to get through a music exam and an alcoholic has-been to rehabilitate.
As for Dainty, why should she be beholden to vows that he cast aside for nothing more than a shag with her best friend?  “For richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health” . . . in bed with her and in bed with her bridesmaid! Bastard!
Author Mark Robertson, himself a professional musician, has written about a present day dilemma, what role should each person play in a relationship?  He knows the half-world of gigs and record producers, all waiting for that elusive break, those partners who cheer them on and the others whose patience sometimes runs out. 

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