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Bebop Spoken There

Jackie McLean: “I can't understand British audiences. In Britain there doesn't seem to be any curiosity." (Melody Maker, April 1, 1961).

Charles Mingus: "It seems to me that if our records were not issued in Britain, the British cats would have to think for themselves" (Jazz News, July 26th 1961)

Archives.

Today Wednesday July 26

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.
Jo Harrop & Joel Byrne McCullough - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2AE. 7:30pm. No cover charge. 7:30pm. 0191 2399924
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Kora Band @ the Jazz Café, Newcastle - Oct. 16

Andrew Oliver (piano); Kane Mathis (kora & vocals); Chad McCullough (trumpet); Brady Millard-Kish (electric bass); Mark DiFlorio (drums/calabash).
(Review/bw photo by Lance/colour photo courtesy of Mike Tilley). 
This probably won't be my "Gig of the Year" but I'm sure it will be a contender! What is for sure is that it will be the most unique. Five American musicians playing a fusion of jazz and West African music and featuring the kora - a lute shaped, 20 plus stringed harp-sounding instrument originally indigenous to West Africa but now more widely used. Mathis' instrument was made by, quote: "a hippy guy out in the Oregon mountains".
Those of us whose kora experience was either limited or non-existent were in awe of  Kane Mathis' virtuosic display. Worthy of a punt in the next Down Beat poll (Misc. Inst. section). Not that this was a one man show, anything but. Apart from some superb kit drumming, DiFlorio also displayed his dexterity on another ethnic instrument the calabash. A gourd-like bowl that is not unlike a kora sans strings, bridge and fingerboard. The sounds and rhythms produced were incredible!
On bass guitar BM-K kept the pulsating rhythm afloat easily adapting to the many variations of tempo and time. McCullough, perhaps the most straight ahead player jazzwise had plenty fire in his belly whilst leader Oliver dazzled with his vamps and riffs and forays around the keyboard.
The music itself emanated from such faraway places as Mali, The Gambia, Senegal and points west. There were similarities with the township music of South Africa but only slight. This was a whole different ballgame. At times it almost had the feel of a jazzified Irish jig!
Feet were tapping all around me and more than one person regretted there wasn't space enough for the audience to shake a limb or two.
Earlier this month we reviewed their new CD - New Cities - well worth having as a memento of a memorable evening.
Lance.

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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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