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Bebop Spoken There

Miles Kington: "If the intake of alcohol fails to improve a jazz player's performance, why do jazz listeners think it improves their appreciation?" - (Jazz Express October 1982).

Barbara Jay: "My first gig was at the Astoria, Charing Cross Rd. It seemed like a den of iniquity to me. All the Soho girls were there and the gigolos with their old women paying them to dance..." - (Jazz UK May 2008.)

Archives.

Today Tuesday February 28

Bill Laurence Group - Sage Gateshead. 8pm. £17.40.
Alex Munk's Flying Machines - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. £10/£8. JNE/Schmazz gig.
Maine St. Jazzmen - Royal British Legion Club, West Jesmond Ave., Newcastle NE2 3EX. 8:30pm. £5.
Charles Gordon (solo piano) - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Newcastle. 10pm - midnight. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, March 27, 2015

James Birkett & Bradley Johnston @ The Lit & Phil. March 27

James Birkett (guitar) & Bradley Johnston (guitar)
(Review by Russell)
Another monthly lunchtime gig at the Lit & Phil. In no time all seats were taken with extra chairs hurriedly set-out to meet demand. It was a special occasion – it being the low key launch of James Birkett and Bradley Johnston’s CD Together. A partnership of equals – Birkett the vastly experienced musician, Johnston the supremely talented young musician making his way in the music world.
Ten tunes in the one hour programme and near enough as many guitarists. Birkett and Johnston, then the influential, and the numerous references; Django Reinhardt, Lonnie Johnson, Eddie Lang Pat Metheny. Jobim’s Wave a nice way to relax into the concert. Birkett’s Blues for BJ (who could that be?). Waltz time with John Lewis’ Skating in Central Park, then the first ‘role play’ of the afternoon: B. Johnston as Joe Venuti and J. Birkett as Eddie Lang. Mr Venuti took the spotlight. Stringing the Blues fizzed, two top guitarists firing on all cylinders. A mutual appreciation of Pat Metheny ensured a P. Metheny composition would find a place in the programme and on this occasion an exceptionally laid back take on Farmer’s Trust.
Messrs Birkett and Johnston can play anything, the most difficult of tunes, nothing is beyond them. Yet the idea of combing Rollins’ Oleo and Bird’s Anthropology did put them to the test (no safety net). It was high wire stuff and they didn’t fall off. Simply amazing!  Nuages is seemingly a fixture in the duo’s set. If BJ has learned one thing from JB (there must be many things), it is to take his time on such a tune, the volume levels carefully set (this is a noticeable feature in Johnston’s regular participation in the Jazz Café’s superb jam sessions).
As if the guitar duo hadn’t dazzled the crowd, they went out on Chick Corea’s Spain. Always, always tremendous. Birkett knows how to do it, now, so does Johnston. Two great guitarists, one great gig. They’re gigging regularly across the north east. Catch them soon. Check Bebop Spoken Here soon for a review of James Birkett and Bradley Johnston’s CD Together.
Russell.
The next concert in the lunchtime series is on Friday 24 April at one o’clock featuring Paul Edis (piano) and Graham Hardy (trumpet and flugelhorn).                               

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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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