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Bebop Spoken There

Grant Green Jr.: "One thing that most people--especially jazz cats--don't realise is that all of your jazz standards were once pop standards" - DownBeat July 2018).

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Bobby Sanabria: "Tito Puente was not a very tall man, but when he played the timbales he was a giant among men." - DownBeat July 2018).

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Today Friday June 22

Afternoon

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free.

Alice Grace Trio - Bishop Auckland Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. Tel: 03000 269 524. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Ushaw Ensemble - Lit & Phil, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SE. Tel: 0191 232 0192. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Evening

Emma Fisk & Paul Edis - Ushaw College, Durham DH7 7DW. 7:30pm. £7.00

Julija Jacenaite Trio - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. Free.

Q&A: Eric Burdon & Hilton Valentine - Castle Gate, Melbourne Street, Newcastle NE1 2JQ. Tel: 0191 233 2288. 7:00pm. £30.00. (£50.00. VIP ‘Meet & Greet’ inc glass of fizz & photo with Burdon & Valentine). Tex Leon & Friends will perform at the event.

Stax Brothers - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 7pm.

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

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Mike Walker & Stuart McCallum // Paul Taylor @ The Jazz Café. June 24

(Review by Russell).
The latest in Jazz North East’s series of  Schmazz gigs at the Jazz Café featured British guitarists Mike Walker and Stuart McCallum. All seats in the upstairs room were taken (two of the north east’s finest six-stringers bagged prime seats) and the stage resembled the guitar section of your local musical instrument store. The Greater Manchester-based duo settled down to play the first of two mainly acoustic sets in a setting Walker later described as having ‘a good vibe’.
The material consisted of original compositions (a Schmazz prerequisite) and one or two standards. The opening number had an Americana feel to it, so it came as no surprise to learn it was Bill Frisell’s Where Do We Go? Walker, a man with an impressive cv – the big bands of Mike Gibbs and Kenny Wheeler, stints with Julian Arguelles and Nikki Iles, to his latest Anglo American project, the Impossible Gentlemen – shuffled a set list at will, suggesting to McCallum they do ‘Orpheus’. A change of guitar, some retuning, a bit of banter and into Luiz Bonfá’s Black Orpheus. This and the following number – All the Things You Are – exemplified Stuart McCallum’s penchant for reharmonizing tunes. Dark tones, dense improvisations, Walker picking up on McCallum’s initial foray, further solo invention, the seamless dovetailing of ideas.
A Walker composition – Wallenda’s Last Stand – inspired by the life story of a high wire walker’s final, fatal, do or die journey and McCallum’s The French Song illustrated their talents as tunesmiths. The second set heard McCallum’s Beholden and Walker’s Clock Maker. Walker introduced the latter number with a hilarious, true tale of his friend saxophonist Iain Dixon’s father’s clock making obsession. Imagine a house full of clocks – He made one every four minutes, said Walker – all primed to chime on the hour. It was Walker’s mission in life when visiting Dixon Snr to leave before the cacophonous clock chorus struck up! A distinct folk strand ran through the second set, notably McCallum’s tune inspired by a visit to the Shetlands and his authentic folk ballad Seasons. The one time student of Walker has gone on to work in a variety of contexts including a plum job with John Surman, tenure with the hip Cinematic Orchestra and work with Tim Garland’s Northern Underground Orchestra (including an appearance at the Durham Miners’ Gala a few years ago). This Schmazz gig was one for students of the guitar rather than one for the jazz guitar purist.
Earlier, pianist Paul Taylor played a solo set in the downstairs bar. The Tyneside-based Taylor developed ideas from an impressionist palette, quietly applying complementary hues to an uncluttered canvas. The audience listened intently, some seemingly holding a breath, such was the silence during a half hour improvisation.
Next month’s Schmazz concert at the Jazz Café departs from the usual last Tuesday in the month date. The double bill of Troyka and Pulcinella can be heard on Tuesday 15 July.
      
Russell.

3 comments :

Bradley Johnston (on F/b) said...

Great gig, very inspiring gig Mike!

stevebfc said...

Thoroughly enjoyable gig left the jazz cafe buzzing. Great tunes, great repartee, great music, great night.

Zoe Gilby (On Twitter). said...

An amazing night.

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About this blog - contact details.

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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