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Bebop Spoken There

Michael Feinstein: “Fred Astaire is my favorite singer. To me, he was the perfect interpreter of American popular song.” – (Jazz Times December 2014).

Bud Shank: “Once I saw California – that was it, I stayed.” – (Jazz Journal May 1991)

Archives.

Friday February 24

Afternoon
Rendezvous Jazz - The Monkseaton Arms, Front St., Monkseaton, Whitley Bay NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.
Sue Ferris Trio - Bishop Auckland Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 1pm. £5.
Hand to Mouth - (Lindsay Hannon/Bradley Johnston) - Lit & Phil, 23 Westgate Rd., Newcastle NE1 1SE. 1pm. £5.
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Evening
Mo Scott Band - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9pm. £7/£5 (in advance).
Taupe - Head of Steam, Neville St., Newcastle. 8pm. CD launch.
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Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 7:00pm.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Darlington Jazz Festival. April 25: From Clervaux to the Quakerhouse

(Review by Russell)
Saturday morning. A pastry? A coffee? The Coniscliffe Road Clervaux Bakery with its sunlit covered courtyard provided the perfect platform to serve up an all-day jazz menu. Early birds (ten o’clock) enjoyed the piano playing of Steve McGarvie. On the hour, an ever changing roster of soloists or duos played for twenty minutes or so. The pairing of Dean Stockdale and Jonny Dunn worked well; piano dovetailing nicely with trumpet. A relaxed Misty encapsulating the day’s laidback approach. A rustle of a broadsheet, food orders brisk, quiet chatter, well-behaved tots. Chill. 
Voice and guitar; Zoe Gilby and the singer’s accompanist of choice – Mark Williams. Ms Gilby dedicated an original tune to celebrate her mother’s birthday. It was all about a redheaded girl from the ‘north east of nowhere’ (nice lyric). The Baker siblings (Amy, bass and Alex, tenor), more McGarvie with tenor/baritone Jazz Tones band mate Alan Thompson and to close the afternoon an opportunity for Durham County Youth Big Band pianist Max Goodall to show what he could do on his own. He did just fine.
On to the afternoon session at the Quakerhouse in Mechanics’ Yard. The compact room, all beams, brick and beer (the new home to Darlington Jazz Club) featured three sets. A major incident across town (a restored former cinema was going up in smoke) delayed the arrival of bassist Neil Harland (roads closed off, diversions in place). A reshuffle of the programme saw Gilby and Williams back in action sooner than anticipated. Brubeck, Monk, Juan Tizol and Gilby material captivated the audience in the snug upstairs room. Mr Harland duly arrived and set-up in double quick time to work in a trio with the busy pianist Dean Stockdale and drummer Stephen Fletcher. This I Dig of You (Hank Mobley), On the Sunnyside of the Street, Nostalgia in Times Square. Top quality material and top quality playing. Then, a surprise guest appearance. The BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year Alexander Bone joined the trio for a couple of numbers. Altoist Bone comes from the Darlington area. It was quite something to hear him in a town centre pub. Brilliant, that’s the word. Those who watched the BBC’s televised competition will have an idea of just what he’s capable of. This small group, small venue appearance, heard him at close quarters. Cherokee (Bone was all over it!) and On Green Dolphin Street, no mistake, this young man can play. How he does it is beyond mere mortals. An ‘I was there’ moment.
To close the afternoon’s entertainment another County Durham-raised star brought in an exceptionally talented quartet. Tenor saxophonist Will Howard (he came up through the ranks of the renowned Durham County Youth Big Band) is typically self-effacing of the younger generation of musicians. A quartet of equals (all of whom have been heard on the north east scene), this set hit the heights. A pad of classic material (with one Howard composition) given a contemporary treatment. Jim Hall’s Slam (featuring guitarist John Brown, a distinctive talent), Jobim, Star-Crossed Lovers, a couple from the pen of Joe Henderson. The bass and drums pairing of the exceptionally good Tom Riviere and Steve Hanley made for an integrated group performance. Howard’s timing, sound, everything about him marks him out as a generous talent. Abundant technique, yet subservient to the sound he was pursuing, Howard must be heard. A fabulous afternoon at the Quakerhouse.
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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