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Bebop Spoken There

Chris Potter: "When we were going to get on an aeroplane, he [Red Rodney] would always pretend to have a limp so we could get on first." (Jazzwise March 2019).

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Today Thursday February 21

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Society Trio - Revolucion de Cuba, 1 Cloth Market, Newcastle NE1 1EE. 6pm. Free,

Musicians Unlimited - Tees Hot Club, Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free. Guest band night.

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm.

Daniel John Martin w Swing Manouche - Black Swan, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 261 5618. 8:00pm. £6.00. (£5.00. concs.).

Stu Collingwood (solo piano) - The Rabbit Hole, 17 Hallgarth St., Durham DH1 3AT. Tel: 0191 386 5556. 7pm. Book in advance.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

James Birkett & Bradley Johnston @ The Jazz Café – October 31

James Birkett (guitar) & Bradley Johnston (guitar)
(Review by Russell/Photo courtesy of Mike Tilley)
From the brilliance of the Buck Clayton Legacy Band at Sage Gateshead to the brilliant guitar duo of Birkett and Johnston at the Jazz Café to catch the last half an hour or so of their set. Party goers were getting in to the swing of things, ten thirty a little early for the stop-outs. Herbie was in his horse box, patched up, he’ll survive. At skateboard central – the Head of Steam –an indie thing was going on, wannabe dudes on the street practicing dude-ism at the door. Pink Lane and wouldn’t you just know it, Oh when the Saints…go marchin’ in. The party goers needed little persuasion, singing (and swaying) along to the resident Pink Lane Balkan street band.
From the surreal to the sublime…James Birkett and Bradley Johnston were playing jazz guitar; All the Things You Are. A one time master-pupil arrangement, theirs is now a duo, pure and simple: Birkett and Johnston, jazz guitar duo. Student Bradley Johnston – he is still a student, soon to graduate – has grown from an Adrian Mole 13 and ¾ years old (or thereabouts) in to the real deal, able to stand alongside, or as he does, sit alongside James Birkett as an equal. Dr Birkett is a master musician, he cannot be other than proud of BJ’s development.
Imagine Johnston as Lonnie Johnson and Birkett as Eddie Lang, playing Blue Room in a 20s roadhouse. A bit of a stretch, granted, but for a wee while the Jazz Café transported its Saturday night crowd to somewhere along the turnpike in Hicksville. James’ Waltz, a Johnston composition written for a certain JB, then a certain Nuages, then the duo’s now familiar showstopper, Chick Corea’s Spain. Birkett remarked that this was just about the first tune he and Bradley played together. BJ nodded. If they could play Spain they could play anything. And of course, they did. Tyneside (and beyond) is lucky to have so many ‘hang-your-hat-on’ musicians on the doorstep. Birkett and Johnston are two of them. 
Russell.
Footnote: Herbie (local knowledge required) is doing just fine.

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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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