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Number 22 in World Jazz Blog Rankings

Number 22 in World Jazz Blog Rankings

Bebop Spoken There

Alan Luff: “The general view is that Ella’s songbook recordings are the supreme exemplars of sophistication, fine diction and creative voice in the wide field of popular music.” – (Jazz Journal May 2017).

Steve Voce: “Most of us have been crashed into by cretins who walk along the road absorbed in the screens of their mobile phones.” – (Jazz Journal May 2017).

Today Wednesday May 24

Afternoon.
Vieux Carre Jazzmen - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. £1. 8pm.
Levee Ramblers NOJB - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Road, Springwell, Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:30pm. £3.00.
Chris Sharkey Trio - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. £5.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller at Carnegie Hall 1939 @ The Gala Theatre, Durham. July 16

(Review by Russell).
Durham Brass Festival 2015 presented a recreation of the legendary 1939 Carnegie Hall showdown between Benny Goodman – the King of Swing – and the latest challenger to his throne – Glenn Miller. The Gala Theatre near to capacity, the band’s MC Pete Long said it seemed rather odd to be playing a concert at two o’clock on a summer’s afternoon. The orchestra comprised many of the big hitters on the London scene. As the band struck up Don’t Be That Way it was with an unoccupied trombone chair, obvious for all to see. Thanks to the inadequacies of the rail network Callum Au was nowhere to be seen. Long suggested the audience applaud upon his arrival. Two numbers in…huge applause as the casual Au strolled out and took his seat in the section for the first set (a Goodman set).
The band restored to a full compliment, One O’clock Jump made the joint jump. Trumpet section work of the highest order, led by Nathan Bray, featured the first of several superb solos from George Hogg. To their left stood Ryan Quigley – the betting was he wasn’t on the gig for the ride. A box of fire works was surely at his feet.
MC Long is a fine soloist. He featured in a Goodman trio setting on China Boy – clarinet, guitar and drums. Long also possesses a dry, witty line in repartee. He introduced the boy band singer…the ever-youthful Chris Dean. A tremendous trombone player, Dean could sing alright. The Goodman set flew by…Down South Camp Meeting (cue innuendo from the mischievous Long) and a scorching Sing Sing Sing brought the curtain down on a fine first set.
Interval chatter in the bar – a good set, great players…oh, Miller next! Well, don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it. Moonlight Serenade – the first few bars, then Running Wild with big tenor from Dean Masser. A further vocal feature for the boy band singer Chris Dean on a well received Stairway to the Stars highlighted Pete Long’s observation that the musicians on stage at the Gala were the same – first set, then second set, yet the sound was different due to their musicianship and the material they were playing. Long’s comment that Miller delivered a punter-friendly sound, and that he was clever in doing so, registered with your reviewer. Goodman played jazz, but so too Miller in his own way, with, as Long said, ‘the rough edges taken off it’. Certainly this ‘mature’ Gala Theatre audience loved every tune, be it Goodman or Miller. Discerning? Who cares? In the Mood…walking sticks waving, zimmer frames discarded, they were up – slowly – reliving something or other. A finale heard the same tune twice. Clever stuff from Long. Bugle Call Rag Miller-style, then by way of comparison, the Goodman take. Hear the difference! Hear Ryan Quigley. Didn’t you know he’d try and blow the roof off?!
The main man driving, if not conducting, the whole thing, Richard Pite gave a flawless performance. One remarkable feature of this Durham Brass Festival concert…the entire band played acoustically, including double bassist Calum Gourlay! It just goes to show, volume isn’t everything. A rare treat.    
Russell.
Pete Long (MC & clarinet), Dean Masser (tenor saxophone & clarinet), Paul Nathaniel (tenor saxophone & clarinet), Colin Skinner (alto & clarinet), Peter Ripper (alto saxophone & clarinet), ? (alto saxophone & clarinet),  George Hogg (trumpet), Nathan Bray (trumpet), Ryan Quigley (trumpet), Chris Dean (trombone & vocals), Andy Flaxman (trombone), Callum Au (trombone), ? (guitar), Bunny Thompson (piano), Calum Gourlay (double bass) & Richard Pite (drums)

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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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