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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.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Ruth Lambert Trio @ St. Cuthbert's Centre, Crook - May 15.











Ruth Lambert, vocals. Giles Strong, guitar and Mick Shoulder, bass.
(Review/photos by Jerry)
 Ruth, Mick and Giles have a CD out and, having heard most of the tracks from it here tonight, I bought one! The sleeve-notes include this quote (not sure from whom): “It’s all about the intimacy of the trio. Three voices, each one as important as the other.” That sums up the distinctive atmosphere and experience here tonight. Thanking the band at the end, the MC likened it to chamber music in its clarity and apparent simplicity and he knows more about music than I do! I stress “apparent” simplicity as there is much complexity in the writing and arrangements and much subtlety of technique in performance to achieve that end. A treat of a gig!
The GASbook was well represented with You and the Night and the Music and Old Devil Moon in the first few numbers. Later came Carmichael’s wistful Skylark  (bass and vocals only)followed  by I’m in the Mood for Love. We also had Devil May Care and Arlen’s perky I’ve got the World on a String.
During the interval the band had discussed possible rhythmic augmentation – conga drums or an egg, maybe? In the event neither of those were deployed but on Tizol’s Caravan Giles tapped out the rhythm on the body of his guitar just as Mick had done on the bass on Love for Sale. Later we had Cole Porter’s You’d Be so Nice to Come Home To, Time After Time (with Mick sort-of-singing on his solo – always a good sign!) and, as an encore (vociferously requested), Secret Love.
Ruth admitted that the GASbook has always been her “comfort zone” but  tonight (and this is mirrored on the CD) she was stepping boldly and brilliantly out of it! Mick’s arrangement of Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise, for example, was “tricky to sing”, but how well she sung it! Then there was a blues – Love me Like a Man – dedicated to B.B. King with whom Bonnie Raitt often collaborated. I loved this version!
Ruth’s love of a song that tells a story brought us something more recent (well, 1969!) – Al Wilson’s The Snake - a happy song about a tender lady rescuing a poorly snake from death in return for which “he gave her a vicious bite”! When they told me this was “a seminal Northern Soul song”, I didn't believe them! Their version was mesmerising and if you ever want hissing sibilants, Ruth’s the girl!
There were originals, too, which showed that Carmichael & Cahn did not have a monopoly on good tunes and thoughtful lyrics! I have heard Ruth sing A Love That Never Dies countless times but never knew till now that she penned it. I assumed it was someone like Jobim (which I assume Ruth will take as a compliment)! She and Mick co-wrote Lullaby, a slow, moody piece teetering on the line between comfortable and spooky! Giles Strong’s Everything Was Beautiful lived up to its name and had lyrics which, in my opinion, the old masters would be proud of, suggesting positives which might emerge from the otherwise sad break-up of a relationship. Mick Shoulder’s How Could I? was introduced with the speculation that one day people might refer to the Great North-Eastern Songbook! Why not? say I  - the first chapter has already been written!
With Mick Shoulder on bass and Giles Strong on guitar Ruth will be in good voice” was how Bebop…flagged up this gig. Spot on! Three more concerts are coming up here between now and November – do NOT miss them!
Jerry.

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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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