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Bebop Spoken There

Jackie McLean: “I can't understand British audiences. In Britain there doesn't seem to be any curiosity." (Melody Maker, April 1, 1961).

Charles Mingus: "It seems to me that if our records were not issued in Britain, the British cats would have to think for themselves" (Jazz News, July 26th 1961)

Archives.

Today Monday July 24

Afternoon.
Jazz in the Afternoon - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
????????
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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

Splinter @ the Bridge present YANA - April 26

Corey Mwamba (vibes); Dave Kane (bass); Johnny Hunter (drums)
(Review by Steve/photos courtesy of Ken Drew)
Sunday nights in Newcastle will never be the same again. After 5 years showcasing the most interesting and stimulating jazz from far and wide, Splinter have had to call it a day. Although supported by a loyal hardcode audience, the overall numbers attending made the project simply unsustainable.
Fittingly, the final gig was a memorable one as Corey Mwamba’s trio Yana played to a packed house. Corey started off proceedings by thanking Zoe and Andy for all their hard unsung work and everybody applauded wholeheartedly in agreement with his sentiments.
The formalities now over, the music was able to commence and a magnificent landscape of sound began to evolve. Each member of the band clearly seemed to be enjoying the experience of playing with one another as they responded quite intuitively to what was going around them. So much so that when a bird chorus started up outside the bay window, Mwamba was able to improvise a tweeted echoed response with a tiny Indian whistle.
I have seen many world class vibes players - Joe Locke, Gary Burton, Bobby Hutchinson, Roy Ayers to name just 4 -but I have never seen anyone use the instrument in such a unique way as Mwamba. He may play with anything between zero (his hands) and 6 mallets and in any combination thereof whilst simultaneously moving around the instrument like a hyperactive gazelle. Occasional primordial screaming and the playing of wooden flutes and pipes further augment the performance. It’s by no means classic vibe playing in the style of the aforementioned maestros but Corey lays down a driving groove full of interest and every so often there was to be a burst of simply beautiful sounds. Hunter and Kane are perfect accomplices and at the end of the evening all 3 musicians appeared to have enjoyed the evening as much as the highly appreciative audience. In fact in a display of affability, the charming trio seemed more than happy to hang around and chat to people after the show.
Finally, I would also like to personally thank Zoe and Andy (seen left with JNE's Paul Bream) for all their hard work in promoting such a wonderful cornucopia of music over the years. I have seen some  absolutely amazing gigs and also some not so brilliant but they have all always been interesting and well worth the nominal admission price. However out of the ashes of the splinters a phoenix may yet arise as Jazz North East hopes to be able to programme Sunday night gigs in the not too distant future - funding permitting. So, sadly, the end of a splendid era! It was most odd saying goodbye to so many people that I had shared so many extraordinary evenings with, but it has to be said “it has been a blast”.  
Steve.

2 comments :

  1. An excellent review, Steve. You catch the sweet/sad atmosphere of the last Splinter session very well. And Yana were the perfect group to play the final show as they encapsulated much of the great spirit of these sessions - superb musicians, intuitive interplay between them, lots of creative and exciting improvisation and nice rapport with the audience. Like all good 'wakes' a large crowd of relatives, close friends and distant acquaintances turned up to have a few drinks, celebrate the last five years and say goodbye.
    As it can sometimes be a thankless task to turn up every Sunday night to arrange chairs, organise the sound system and take the admission money, as well as being responsible for making the music happen, I would like to echo Steve's note of appreciation for all that Zoe and Andy have done and say thanks for the many terrific nights of jazz. As a singer once sang "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone'. I'm missing Splinter already.
    JC

    ReplyDelete
  2. A fitting review by Steve. Had it been written before the gig maybe more would have been attracted to the captivating atmposhphere described therein, and joined us for a crackin gig ?? I would also like to echo Steve's note of appreciation for all that Zoe Champion and Andy Champion have done in broadening our musical horizons, and say thanks for organising the many wonderful and enjoyable nights of jazz at The Bridge Hotel.

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About this blog - contact details.

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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