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Bebop Spoken There

Howard Riley: “When I started out playing jazz back in the late 50s, early 60s, if you wanted a gig you had to learn some standards.” – (Jazz Journal April 2017)

Eric Harland: “I love swing and I’m always going to swing but I also know that you can take a hip-hop groove and improvise with that just like you would with a swing pattern.” – (Jazz Journal April 2017)

Today Friday April 28

Afternoon
Rendezvous Jazz - The Black Horse, Front St., Monkseaton, Whitley Bay NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.
Dean Stockdale Trio - Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 1pm. £5.
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Evening
Emma Fisk's Hot Club du Nord - St. Cuthbert's Centre, Church Hill, Crook DL15 9DN. 7:30pm.
Matt Roberts Sextet - Voodoo Café, Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 8pm. £6. 01325 467555. Darlington Jazz Festival.
Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 7:00pm.
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Lazy River Jazz Band - Blenkinsopp Castle Inn, Nr. Greenhead CA8 7JS. 8pm. £5. Dancers welcome! 07721 375278 for more details.
To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Bill Laurance Project @ Sage Gateshead. May 26

Bill Laurance (keyboards), Michael League (double bass, electric bass & Moog synth), Robert ‘Sput’ Searight (drums) with the West Side Trio: Vera van der Bie (violin), Isabella Petersen (viola), Annie Tangberg (cello) + Katie Christie (French horn)
(Review by Russell).
Michael League and co came, saw and conquered. That was a little over a year ago. The Snarky Puppy phenomenon shows little sign of abating with this Bill Laurance return to the scene of their triumphant debut appearance – at Sage Gateshead. The keyboards man has been on a European tour promoting the release of his latest CD and this last leg – the British dates – has been a homecoming for the Brooklyn-based Londoner.
Snarky Puppy gigs often feature upwards of ten musicians on stage (forty and more have been known on more than one occasion!) but for this tour Laurance has brought with him his regular rhythm section partners – bassist Michael League and groove machine Robert ‘Sput’ Searight (drums). Hire a string trio (the West Side Trio), add a brass player and an altogether different sound emerged…at times. Full on, high level volume, subtlety isn’t a priority for these boys. Strings and horn plugged in to the power supply. Chamber music? Not a chance! Groove merchant Searight hammered his pneumatic bass drum, giving the others no option but to crank it up. Laurance’s new album – Swift – featured heavily, and a couple of cuts from his debut CD Flint made it onto the set list.
December in New York, a trio work out on The Good Things, a League arrangement of an Indonesian-inspired The Isles (Snarky Puppy’s reach embraces festival dates in the Indian Ocean) and Smokers Castle elicited huge applause from the Hall Two standing crowd of devoted followers. Laurance surveyed the scene from his three-sided control room of six or seven keyboards (including a house Steinway, Fender Rhodes and his new toy capable of pitch-bending notes – ‘the future for keyboards’, claimed the main man).
The second set offered more of the same (a French horn solo offered something different) with Denmark Hill perhaps the pick of the night. The Real One (a pitch-bending feature), bassist League alternating between electric and heavily amplified double bass, some West Side Trio features and, to close the set, the opening track on Swift, Laurance’s Fjords.
The Snarky Puppy lot tour relentlessly. Laurance and League have come a long way from their days of post-gig fish and chips in Bridlington (they had a Chet Baker tribute band!). Laurance’s Swift project will be filed in the archive, Snarky Puppy will write many more chapters before they are done.      
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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