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Bebop Spoken There

Allison Neale: “It’s difficult if you play mainstream in the UK, it isn’t appreciated enough. The current scene seems to focus on musician-composers.” - (Jazz Journal April 2013).

Liam Noble: “I know some people think playing standards is old-fashioned but I love it.” – (Jazz Journal January 2016).

Archives.

Today Tuesday February 21

Jam Session - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. Free.
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.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Jazz North East presents Splinter @ the Bridge, with OZMA meets Buster – Sept. 13

Julien Soro (saxophones); Paul Jarret (guitar); Edouard Séro-Guillaume (bass); Stéphane Scharlé (drums).
(Review by Steve H./Photos courtesy of Ken Drew) 
Last month a packed St Gabriels Church in Heaton hosted the Buster Keaton classic Steam Boat Bill Junior with a live accompaniment from TV star and silent movie expert Neil Brand. It was a fantastic evening as the movie is a classic and Brand is clearly a very accomplished musician. My wife looked sceptical when on the way home I remarked how much more I would have enjoyed it had the music been of the improvised jazz variety.
Well on Sunday at the Bridge Hotel I was granted my wish as this French band produced a live performance to accompany Buster Keaton’s 3 Ages of Man. The film, Keaton’s first full length feature as director, may not be his finest but it is still very funny. 
The film’s themes focus on man’s perennial attempts to win the girl from a love rival. Each segment of the courtship is shown in 3 different eras, Stone Age, Ancient Rome and 1920’s New York. All the thrills of a classic Keaton film are on show providing an inspirational backdrop for the band to improvise with.
My own favourite scene is when Buster has to take on his adversary in a chariot race in Ancient Rome so as to impress his prospective beau’s parents. As the race is about to start there is a snow storm so Buster replaces the wheels on his chariot with skis and the horses with huskies. All is going well until a conspirator of his rival lures the dogs away with the aid of a small kitten. Our hero captures the kitten attaches it to a stick which he then dangles in front of the huskies who in their frantic attempt to reach the kitten carry him to victory. All the action of the film was wonderfully augmented by the quartet who caught the relevant moods perfectly. At the conclusion of the film the near capacity crowd responded with rapturous applause.
For the second set the quartet played a selection of their own composition and what a treat it was. The band have known each other since attending the conservatoire together in Strasbourg in 2001 and this was reflected in the wonderful empathy they had with each other. The music was powerful, original, creative and exhilarating. All 4 players were fabulous but there was a particular guitar solo by Paul Jaret at the start of a piece that was best thing I have heard all year. The response at the conclusion of the final piece was even more enthusiastic than that given at the interval. Indeed certain members of the audience could be overheard plotting the logistics of a trip to Berwick on Friday night where the band will be performing at ‘The Maltings’.
All in all, a great start to Jazz North East’s monthly Sunday night Splinter season.
Steve H.

2 comments :

  1. Lovely review, Steve of a wonderful performance. A gig of two distinct halves - literally - and quite exhilarating all the way through. A fantastic start to the new season of jazz from Jazz North East

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  2. I agree entirely with Steve and Ken about the quality of the performance. Most musicians playing accompaniments to silent movies seem to feel that they have to work broadly in the musical style of the film's own era, but what was fantastic about the OZMA performance was that the music was uncompromisingly contemporary, yet worked perfectly with the images on screen - a demonstration that great art (and in this case I mean the film and the music) has the capacity to work across the (three) ages.

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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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