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Bebop Spoken There

Orrin Evans: “I’d like to see a younger audience and an audience that looks more like me at the clubs.” – (Down Beat November 2014).

Kevin Flanagan: "Besides, I'd got sick of playing jazz to people who looked like my father." - (Straight No Chaser Issue 0ne Summer 1988.)

Archives

Today Friday August 18

Afternoon
Rendezvous Jazz - The Black Horse, Front St., Monkseaton, Whitley Bay NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.
Levee Ramblers New Orleans Quartet - Tynemouth Metro Station, Station Tce., Tynemouth NE30 4RE. 1pm. Free.
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Evening
Kentucky Cowtippers - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
Ray Johnson & Richard Herdman - Prohibition Bar, Arch 3, Brandling St., Gateshead NE8 2BA. 8pm.
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Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 7pm.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Bradley Johnston Quartet @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. September 20

Bradley Johnston (guitar), Peter Gilligan (piano), Paul Grainger (double bass) & Tim Johnston (drums)
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Roly Veitch - click for more)
Blaydon Jazz Club’s thirty two year history has hosted m
any of the best jazz musicians around – regional, national and international. Working on a shoe string budget, hoping audiences will materialise from one gig to the next, it’s largely a thankless task. On an occasion such as last night at the Black Bull there was a feeling that it was worthwhile, more than worthwhile.
Bradley Johnston, twenty-teen, or thereabouts, led his own band on an engagement at a club venue he has got to know well, a place where the regulars have got to know him. A quiet, shy young man, Johnston plays jazz guitar. He’s had a guest spot or two playing a full part in his guitar duo partnership with mentor James Birkett. Now he’s out there, his own man, calling the tunes. 
Johnston opened each set with a solo acoustic guitar piece. A Norah Jones’ number – Don’t Know Why – held the audience rapt. Johnston invited Peter Gilligan to join him on Bill Evans’ Time Remembered. Double bassist Paul Grainger and Tim Johnston (drums) stepped onto the dimly lit stage to form the quartet in time to play Johnston’s Pat’s Waltz. A varied programme included Steve Swallow and Ellington. In a Sentimental Mood was a first set highlight; fine, sensitive playing, Tim Johnston working the gig almost exclusively with brushes, Gilligan commendably restrained, Grainger the imperturbable figure at the back. Michel Petrucciani’s Looking Up brought the first set to a close with the (no relation) Johnstons in the spotlight – Bradley with a marvelous solo, Tim taking it out in spirited fashion.
Blaydon Jazz Club’s tireless promoter Roly Veitch made the usual parish announcements and took time to think out loud, with no little wonderment, at Bradley’s meteoric rise. An old friend of Veitch, Dr James Birkett, similarly took time to address the audience. Tutor, fellow musician, friend to Bradley, Birkett spoke warmly of his young charge. It kind of makes it all worthwhile.
Second set. A guitar/double bass feature for Johnston and Paul Grainger. Charlie Haden’s Our Spanish Love Song made connections. The recently deceased acclaimed bassist could surely count Grainger as an admirer. Haden’s enduring working relationship with revered guitarist Pat Metheny certainly didn’t get past Johnston, the American superstar a major influence. A varied pad included All the Things You Are. Great stuff, as simple as that.
An indication of Johnston’s maturity followed; having addressed the audience throughout the evening, introducing each tune, looking around the room as he did so, he took time to talk about his development as a young guitarist and the life changing experience of being introduced to jazz by Dr Birkett, then embracing it. A wonderful moment. Johnston then did the only thing he could do – he played James’ Waltz!
There Will Never be Another You, brisk, a round of fours, excellent. A Metheny groover had Pete Gilligan firing on all cylinders and Mr Dependable, Paul Grainger, didn’t blink.
A killer Scrapple from the Apple closed the night; Johnston tore it up, Gilligan too with dynamic rhythmic support from Main Man Johnston. Thirty two years at Blaydon, eh? Here’s to the next thirty two!
Next month, one week later than usual – Sunday October 25 – features the man Vasi X. Mr Xenopoulos is simply one of the great tenor players of his generation. If you’re yet to hear him, this is your chance. Bus (convenient buses to/from Gateshead and Newcastle), car, walk, private helicopter – whatever your mode of transport, be there. Vasilis will be working with a dream team; long time friend Paul Edis, playing piano, the incomparable Andy Champion will frighten every bass player for miles around and brilliant drummer Russ Morgan is the man to hear. If you require more information about how to get to the Black Bull contact Bebop Spoken Here. Prediction: Gig of the Year.      
Russell.        

1 comment :

  1. If you missed Bradley's fantastic quartet at Blaydon - or you want to see them again - come & see them play for the Jazz.Coop at The Globe this Saturday!!

    ReplyDelete

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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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