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Bebop Spoken There

Michael Feinstein: “Fred Astaire is my favorite singer. To me, he was the perfect interpreter of American popular song.” – (Jazz Times December 2014).

Bud Shank: “Once I saw California – that was it, I stayed.” – (Jazz Journal May 1991)

Archives.

Today Sunday February 26.

Afternoon.
Mark Williams (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 12:30pm. Free.
More Jam - Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 3pm. Free.
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Blues @ The Bay - Tanner Smith's 17-19 South Parade, Whitley Bay NE26 2RE, 0191 2525941. 4pm. Free. Blues jam w. Scott Wall & Charlie Philp.
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Musicians Unlimited - Park Hotel, Park Rd., Hartlepool TS26 9HU. 01249 233126.1pm. Free.
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Evening
Maine St. Jazzmen - Seaton Sluice Social Club, Collywell Bay Rd., Seaton Sluice NE26 4QZ. 8pm. £4.
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Shaun Henderson Band - Quakerhouse, Mechanics Yard, Darlington. 6pm. £5.
Jazz Jam - Empty Shop, 35c Framwellgate Bridge, Durham DH1 4SY. 7:30pm. Free.
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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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