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Bebop Spoken There

Mundell Lowe: “...we also had to play for a floor show, which consisted of girls dancing--some of 'em were dressed, some of 'em were not so dressed.” – (Crescendo September 1974).

Brew Moore: "I played so many strip joints I was 21 before I saw a naked woman from the front." - (Downbeat July 24, 1969).

Number 24

Bebop Spoken Here is currently listed at number 24 (-2) in the WORLD JAZZ BLOG Rankings!

Today Saturday June 24

Afternoon
Tyne Valley Big Band - Haydon Bridge Festival, Low Hall Park, Haydon Bridge NE47 6AE. £10. TVBB on at 5:15pm.
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Northern Monkey Brass Band - Orange Pip Market, Baker St., Middlesbrough. 5:15pm.
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Evening
Alan Law (solo piano) - Cherry Tree, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle NE22 2AE. 7:30pm. No cover charge.
Koan 5, Renewal - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:45pm. £5 (£4 conc.).
Miles of Barbed Wire - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
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Revolutionaires + Jay Burt -Amphitheatre, Sea Rd., South Shields NE33 2LD. 7pm. Free.
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Nick Ross Orchestra - Consett Empire, Front St., Consett. 7:30pm.
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No Time For Jive - The Tannery, Gilesgate, Hexham NE46 3QD. 8pm. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Double Bill @ Ushaw – Paul Edis & Vasilis Xenopoulos/The Gala Big Band Ushaw College, Durham - October 24

Paul Edis (piano); Vasilis Xenopoulos (tenor sax). (Apologies to Gala Big Band – not all names known.)
(Review by Jerry)
If, on my first visit here, I found the bar/café area impressive, the theatre is jaw-dropping! I know as much about architecture as I do about jazz and I guess this is neo-gothic with its panelling and its statues projecting from the beams like benevolent gargoyles. I think I like neo-gothic: I know I liked the jazz!
The opener, Almost Like Being in Love, showed, immediately, the intuitive understanding these two musicians have after a decade or more of playing together. Vas joked that they were like “an old married couple” – each able to finish the other’s musical sentences before they got there themselves. I hope, as half of an old married couple, that this was meant to be a positive! Either way, the interplay between the two instruments/musicians throughout the set was almost uncanny!
Alone Together showed they could do quiet and thoughtful while Night and Day, Latin style as played by Getz, demonstrated that magical interplay to perfection.
Michel Legrand’s sensitive, romantic What Are You Doing for the Rest of Your Life? had the audience thinking “sitting here to listen to you, if that’s OK?” then Monk’s quirky, spiky Well You Needn’t, with a nod to Georgia Brown (who always gets in somewhere, when Vas is playing!) had them tapping their feet again.
A playful Alice in Wonderland followed before Denzil Best’s foot-tapping Move drummed us to the interval. Terrific!
If I (jazznoramus) had to sum up the appeal of Vas as a saxophonist I’d describe it as understated brilliance: no seeking to dazzle with tricks or faze you with too many notes – just sensitive, technically accomplished renditions of great music.
After the interval, Paul Edis donned his musical director/conductor hat while Vas became a guest front-man (on some numbers) with The Gala Big Band…….who were great. I enjoyed seeing them about 12 months ago in Durham and (I hope this is not seen as a “cack-handed compliment” from one who keeps emphasising his lack of musical knowledge) they have come on a ton since then with more “oomph” to the ensemble work and much more confidence with the solos. According to their leader, they are also tackling “more challenging music.”
There was “comfortable” swing with On the Sunny Side of the Street and Li’l Darlin’, which featured a muted trumpet solo by Dave Skipsey. The closing number, Basie’s One o’Clock Jump, had several well-received solos including trombone, trumpet and bass (sorry if I’ve missed anyone!).
In between these we had Edis originals, including some flagged up as “world premières”. Straight to the Point featured solos by one of the youngest, and possibly one of the oldest band members, Francis Tulip on guitar and George Hetherington on piano, which summed up, for me, the laudably inclusive nature of this ensemble.
In the Nick of Time, a filmic piece which felt as though it really ought to have a narrative, gave Matthew Mackellar a chance to solo on drums. But the “stand-out” piece of the set was Techtonic (I hope I got that spelling right as I think there should be a deliberate “h” in there, but haven’t had a chance to check it) which was a jazz-rock fusion on which the baritone saxes and Francis Tulip (very amplified and in his element) moved plates in the distant café! The audience cheered it to the echo!
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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