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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.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Darlington Jazz Festival. Sunday April 26: An Afternoon Session @ St Augustine’s

(Review by Russell)
St Augustine’s Parish Centre, an established venue thanks to Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club’s monthly concert promotions, hosted the final day of this year’s Darlington Jazz Festival. Set in leafy grounds, a musician playing with his young daughter, doors open on a mild spring afternoon, the scene exemplified the festival organisers’ relaxed, welcoming approach.
Inside, preparations were almost complete. A festival banner being hung, similarly the   sponsors and Musicians’ Union’s pop up banners were put in place. Three bands were scheduled to perform. Darlington Big Band had the honour of kicking-off proceedings. Mostly old hands, ‘punctuality’ their middle name, the boys set up in good time, ready, keen to get started. 
In the absence of Richie Emmerson, Andy Bennett led the orchestra. Stan Kenton charts, a Horace Silver tune, Theme From Love Story, Frank Mantooth’s arrangement of Alfie, a varied pad, expertly played. The latter number featured a flugel solo from Bill Watson – great playing. Will Howard depped at short notice, reading the charts as they were put in front of him, taking several solos – a real talent is Mr Howard.
Darlington Big Band:
Andy Bennett (MD, alto & soprano saxophones), Will Howard (tenor saxophone & clarinet), Alan Thompson (alto saxophone), Jill ? (alto saxophone), Eric ? (baritone saxophone), Bob Temple (trumpet), Bill Watson (trumpet), Alan Smith (trumpet), Alan Catherall (trumpet), Terry O’Hern (trombone), Dave Brock (trombone), Alistair Wood (trombone), Chris Hibbard (bass trombone), ?? (piano), Tom Stephenson (guitar), Alan Smith (bass guitar) & Ray Campbell (drums)
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Out of town visitors played the middle set of three. The Nicola Farnon Trio made the trip from Sheffield in a tightly-packed estate car – double bass, keyboards, saxophone, drum kit, PA, not forgetting three musicians! Almost a quarter of a million miles on the clock, Farnon, Piero Tucci and Phil Johnson have been around the block a few times. Their set proved to be the surprise hit of the festival. Ms Farnon has three things going for her; an engaging personality, excellent musicianship and a great voice. Make that five things – Piero Tucci is equally adept playing keyboards and tenor saxophone and drummer Phil Johnson knows his way around the kit. The material comprised familiar, classic numbers given a fresh slant, played with verve and consummate skill. A perceptive listener said it was a pleasure to listen to musicians really enjoying themselves. Well said, that man!
Tunes included Cheek to Cheek, This Can’t Be Love, One Note Samba, No Moon at All and The More I See You. Every one of them hit the spot. And then there was a Farnon original – Perfect Loverly Day. Great bass playing, a fabulous voice, Tucci’s swinging tenor and keyboards, Johnson’s propulsive sticks’ work – this gig will live long in the memory for all the right reasons. Note to promoters – book the Nicola Farnon Trio as your audience will be thoroughly entertained and will demand that you book them again! A Day at the Market, a live CD recording by the Nicola Farnon Trio offers more of the same. A review of the 2014 release will be posted in the coming days.
The afternoon’s entertainment concluded with a performance by Darlington’s Little Big Band. The junior big band boasted no fewer than six trumpets, five trombones, six reeds, piano, bass and drums. Tutored by Ian Robinson, the band showed what it could do with classic material. Bill Bailey, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square (beautifully played), First Time Around, a stompin’ Stompin’ at the Savoy, Splanky – all skillfully played with commitment and enjoyment. The St Augustine’s audience made a point of giving every encouragement to the stars of tomorrow. Mr Robinson spoke about the development of jazz education in County Durham over several years and this current crop of young musicians serves as testament to the invaluable work done by many of his colleagues throughout the county.           
Russell.      

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