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Bebop Spoken There

Branford Marsalis: "You talk to the old guys about it [52nd St.], and they say the music part was great. Every other aspect of it [pay, hours, conditions] sucked" - (DownBeat, May 2019).

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Today Friday April 19

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. Free.

Classic Swing - Jesmond Royal British Legion Club, West Jesmond Avenue, Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 3EX. Tel: 0191 281 0736. 1:00pm. Free.

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

Evening.

Jazz Lads - Saltburn Cricket Club, Marske Mill Lane, Saltburn TS12 1HJ. Tel: 01287 622761. 8:00pm. £5.00.

Blues/Soul/Funk

Groove-a-matics - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

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

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Take it to the Bridge @ The Chillingham. January 28

Dave Weisser (trumpet & vocals), Don Forbes (trumpet), Rachel Richman (alto saxophone), Barry Ascroft (keyboards), Ray Truscott (electric bass), Norman Redhead (drums) & Matthew MacKellar (drums).
(Review by Russell)
Alice in Wonderland. Stop! said workshop leader Dave Weisser. A false start. The ‘E’ is missing, I can’t play the melody said Barry Ascroft. How reassuring to know that some things are for ever! Take it to the Bridge keeps on keeping on at the Chillingham, come rain or come snow.
Snow flakes skirting the Chilli, someone called a couple of Jobim tunes – the wonderful juxtaposition wasn’t lost (a chilly Chillingham to a cooking Copocabana). Jobim didn’t proceed without discussion: Nah, scrap that, come in last beat, fourth bar. You couldn’t make it up! Drummer Norman Redhead had seen and heard it all before, taking it in his stride. Weisser decided to opt out of Joy Spring and Redhead willingly vacated the drum stool to the late arriving Matthew MacKellar (detention at school? – “Not quite my tempo Matthew”).
Trumpeter Don Forbes and Rachel Richman (alto) braved the elements and their arrival signalled something like a band. Wayne Shorter’s One by One upped matters, Forbes in blistering form from the off. MacKellar handled the fours no problem and the revitalised Weisser played good, muted trumpet.
Forbes’ recent gig at the Jazz Café featured a couple of Stan Tracey numbers and it was good to hear them again so soon (Pen Pals and I Lost My Step in Nantucket are so good they could be mistaken for compositions by one of Tracey’s American jazz idols). In an aside Weisser asked Ascroft: How does it [Pen Pals] go again? Quick as a flash Ascroft sang the verse. Bassist Ray Truscott contributed a subtle solo and Mr Weisser added a beautiful vocal coda.
The between-tunes patter is all but legendary; Weisser telling the tale of the time he got the sack after one day into a cruise ship gig. The man should publish his memoirs! The classic story isn’t the sole preserve of DW. Peter, a keen supporter of the music, informed Bebop Spoken Here of his recent encounter with a motorcycle and sidecar (rider with flapping headgear) and a basket of pigeons…I’ll have a pint of what he’s drinking!
MacKellar’s use of brushes on Stella by Starlight belied his youth and the veteran Weisser came up with the verse (as always). When Sonny Gets Blue didn’t go without mishap – a trailing lead caught underfoot almost brought music stands and microphones crashing to the floor. Weisser informed us he must get down to the pound shop to get some better tape. No expense spared! The tune featured a round of solos, MacKellar’s brushwork and Richman on alto accompanying Weisser’s lyrics. Pianist Barry Ascroft wrote Rascal aboard ship (cruise as opposed to convict) many moons ago about an onboard rascal. He couldn’t remember who. No matter, he and the band played it. It was better than good. So many tunes (it’s a surprise the session gets through as many with all the interruptions…go down to the bar and by the time you return the next tune will yet to have started). A good session went out on Beautiful Love and Isn’t it Romantic? Next week at the Chillingham promises who knows what!            
Russell.                            

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