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Bebop Spoken There

Randy Brecker: "It's still a thrill for me today to stand out front of a big band as the soloist and hear all that sound going on behind you. It brings the best out of me" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Wednesday May 22

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Julija Jacenaite & Alan Law - Jazz Café, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 261 5618. 2:00pm. Free. Café Mezzanine (first floor, access via crafts shop).

Evening

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £1.00.

Blues

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8:30pm. Free.

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

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Jazz North East & Splinter @ the Bridge present: Engine Room Favourites

Martin Archer & Mick Beck (reeds); Graham Clark (violin); Corey Mwamba (vibes); Laura Cole (keyboards); Seth Bennett (bass); Steve Dinsdale (retired hurt), Peter Fairclough, Johnny Hunter, Walt Shaw (percussion). Star Rating *****
 (Review by Steve H./Photo courtesy of Ken Drew.)
When I first heard about this Decatet playing at the Splinter gig I was concerned that the band members might outnumber the audience. I needn’t have worried one of the percussionists (Steve Dinsdale) had to drop out (eaten on the way up according Martin Archer) so now reduced to a nontet the numbers were once again in favour of the audience. As it happens a more than reasonable sized crowd were treated to a memorable gig. Those risk adverse jazz fans who stayed away missed out on one of the most enjoyable and creative gigs of the year.  
Band leader Archer appears to be a musical cross between Clive Anderson and Alan Carr. In addition to his  multi reed playing he composed, cajoled, conducted, cavorted and chanted  throughout the evening.
The ensemble kicked off with  Junko Heart Bad Time from Slackwater  described by Archer as a medley of everything we have ever played and what a joy it was too - vibrant, flamboyant and featuring plenty of melodies for those who like to have a tune with their jazz.  
Although everyone in the Nontet made an outstanding contribution a special mention has to go to Watt Shaw on percussion who made up for the absence of Steve Dinsdale with an octopus like performance of animated percussion . The first set concluded with Satin Lantern a short piece introduced by Archer as  a ‘Salsa’; members of the audience were invited to dance with the band leader but sadly no one took him up on his offer.
After the interval the band performed  its most complex piece You Will Never Know me which was conceived in 3 separate units, the first Section comprising  bass, piano and vibes, the second reeds and violin and the third percussion. The piece felt almost Classical in a Bartokian way and it would be unfair to single out any performer such was the sheer class of all involved.   At the piece’s conclusion Archer suggested that it could have been renamed We will never know it! The evening concluded with a cover of ‘Hard Blues’ which  was simply magnificent – upbeat, uptempo, uplifting and  a duet between Archer on Soprano and Mwamba on vibes was absolutely mesmerising. A wonderfully entertained  audience snaked its way down the Bridge staircase and onto Castle Garth still buzzing  with excitement and admiration for what they had just experienced.
Steve H.

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