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Bebop Spoken There

Jackie McLean: “I can't understand British audiences. In Britain there doesn't seem to be any curiosity." (Melody Maker, April 1, 1961).

Charles Mingus: "It seems to me that if our records were not issued in Britain, the British cats would have to think for themselves" (Jazz News, July 26th 1961)

Archives.

Today Wednesday July 26

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.
Jo Harrop & Joel Byrne McCullough - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2AE. 7:30pm. No cover charge. 7:30pm. 0191 2399924
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

CD Review: Northern Monkey Brass Band – High on Life

Graham Hardy (trumpet), Alastair Lord (trumpet), Jamie Toms (tenor saxophone), David Gray (trombone),  Mark Ferris (trombone), Phil Rosier (tuba), Nik Alevroyiannis (snare drum) & Brendan Murphy (bass drum)
(Review by Russell).
High on Life is the recording debut of the majestic Northern Monkey Brass Band. Trumpeter Graham Hardy has assembled some of the finest brass players and percussionists to play a music that never fails to move body and soul. The best of American street bands – from the Dirty Dozen Brass Band to the Youngblood Brass Band – the inspiration, Hardy has taken a people’s music of the early twentieth century and given it a twenty first century twist.   
High on Life comprises six tracks. Hardy wrote four of them and arranged two others. Funky Pie - Part 2 opens the CD with a bang. Theme stated, all-action ‘bone man David Gray leads the attack, the band’s sole reeds man Jamie Toms interjects, Gray re-asserts his authority, a determined Toms comes back for more, Hardy makes a startling entrance, all marshalled by Phil Rosier’s funkin’ tuba. Rosier starts the ball rolling on the title track High on Life, Toms is quick on the uptake, Nik Alevroyiannis snaps the snare and Toms’ rollercoaster tenor is only brought to a halt by insistent snare work. Toms cannot resist a final flourish… is that a quote from kids’ favourite The Magic Roundabout?
Heroic monkeys in orbit are the stuff of space legend. On John Williams’ Imperial Cantina the Northern Monkeys embark upon an Interstellar Space journey. ‘I haven’t seen Star Wars’ you say. Don’t worry, sit back and enjoy the trip! The familiar refrain lifts off in a retro dance band space capsule powered by expert ensemble work. Fun, fun, fun.
Hardy plays fearlessly on his own composition The Melon Felony. Rosier rolls out the bass line, percussionists Alevroyiannis and Brendan Murphy keep it firmly in the pocket as Hardy and Alastair Lord fire a two-trumpet volley skywards. Hardy’s solo is good reason to acquire the CD (play the track on repeat). Kitsch hip populist material never did anyone any harm, so a Northern Monkey take on Beyoncé’s hit Single Ladies works a treat. It’s what you do with it that counts; a playground squabble, massive tuba, lyrical tenor.
The final track – Horndoggin’ – is a Horn Dogs’ pup adopted by the Northern Monkeys. The rhythm section sets the tempo, horns play with the melody, tenor and trumpet trade, take it home boys! The CD is available at www.northernmonkeybrassband.com and from the band at gigs. Play it loud! The band’s CD launch gig is at Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle on Sunday 6 July (5:00 pm). A lunchtime date at Brass: Durham International Festival (Friday 18 July) is in the diary, as is St Cuthbert’s Centre, Crook on Friday 1 August (7:30 pm). High on Life is dedicated to the memory of John Wheeler.  
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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