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Bebop Spoken There

Allison Neale: “It’s difficult if you play mainstream in the UK, it isn’t appreciated enough. The current scene seems to focus on musician-composers.” - (Jazz Journal April 2013).

Liam Noble: “I know some people think playing standards is old-fashioned but I love it.” – (Jazz Journal January 2016).

Archives.

Today Tuesday February 21

Jam Session - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. Free.
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.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Darlington Jazz Festival. April 24: Matt Roberts Sextet plays the music of Fats Navarro

Matt Roberts (trumpet), Matt Anderson (tenor saxophone), Ben Lowman (alto saxophone), Sam Watts (keyboards), Angus Milne (double bass) & Sam Gardner (drums).
(Review by Russell).
In preview Bebop Spoken Here advised early arrival. Minutes before the start of this gig in the upstairs room at the Voodoo Café it was standing room only. All seats taken, walls lined with dozens of people, some relegated to a spot in the corridor, numbers exceeding expectations.
An air of anticipation, a ‘buzz’ in the air. Returning local hero Matt Roberts was to play the music of Fats Navarro. At a guess, his sextet’s average age would be little more than thirty, if that. And what a sextet! Familiar faces, some less so, six superb jazz musicians. 
Navarro, Tadd Dameron, Dexter Gordon, legendary names. Roberts’ band more than did justice to the bop era giants. Index introduced altoist Ben Lowman. The verdict? This guy is the ‘real deal’. A fabulous player, book him for your jazz club. Matt Anderson (tenor), to Roberts’ left in the frontline, has become well known to north east audiences. Several gigs in the region leading his own band or, as on this gig, as a sideman, his warm-toned tenor has become a familiar sound. Roberts couldn’t stop smiling; tenor to his left, alto to his right, a great frontline. In fact, it was smiles all round. These guys clearly enjoyed the music, working together and performing to a receptive crowd. Here’s a thing - a frontline working without mics. Old school or what?! The rhythm section cooked on Gas Mark 9. Sam Watts (keyboards), his face a picture of concentration, bassist Angus Milne as good a bass player as you’ll hear (a local lad to boot, from the Egglesciffe area) and drummer Sam Gardner. The tall, affable Gardner playing bop, now there’s a thing! Familiar on the scene in more contemporary contexts, the boy can play the music of the masters as well as anyone.
Symphonette, Bird’s Dexterity, The Chase – this was bop paradise. Dameron’s blues The Skunk, ballads too – As Time Goes By, Gone with the Wind. A gig to treasure, from first note to last. Smiles on the stand, smiles in the audience, superb musicianship, The 2015 Darlington Jazz Festival is off to a flyer.
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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