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Bebop Spoken There

Randy Brecker: "It's still a thrill for me today to stand out front of a big band as the soloist and hear all that sound going on behind you. It brings the best out of me" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Tuesday May 21

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Kamasi Washington - Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4461. 7:30pm. £30.00.

River City Jazzmen w. Maureen Hall - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NN. Tel: 01670 813983. 8:00pm. £5 (raffle inc.) Bob Wade, Gordon Solomon, Keith Stephen, Phil Rutherford, Tommy Graham.

Lindsay Hannon Band - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB.Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

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

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Blind Monk @ The Jazz Café - Nov. 13










Bob Whittaker (ten); Hugo Harrison (bs); Johnny Hunter (dms).
(Review/bw photo by Lance/Colour photos courtesy of Mike Tilley).
Friday the 13th, unlucky for some, but not for those at the Jazz Café last night where the lads from Liverpool, the Blind Monk Trio, pleased all but the most discerning ears. Tenor/bass/drums trios are becoming more and more the norm these days both here, in Europe and New York and, with the absence of guitar or keyboard, allows the saxophonist a freer hand, carte blanche if you will, to travel where e'er he care to.
This, Whittaker did well only rarely trespassing beyond the bounds of sanity.
It took them awhile to acclimatise - literally! The saxman played the first set wearing a duffle coat (yes they still make them!) whilst Harrison sported a woolly hat. By contrast, Hunter was in almost Costa Del Sol apparel. As the set progressed, with most numbers containing an end of gig style drum solo, it was easy to see why! 
This was contemporary without anyone sending an urgent message to the RSPCA. Nor were there any poncy music stands or visible ipads - it came from the heart.
Mainly originals, often with quite quirky heads punctuated with pregnant pauses. This was music to keep you wide awake. My bottle of Geordie Jazz (A traditional bitter, amber in colour, it's maltiness offset with plenty of bitterness using traditional English Goldings and Fuggles hops) could have been re-named Scouse Jazz - the Fuggles and the Goldings were dancing in the bottle to the beat and this was to a tune that was almost a ballad - almost!
Come the second set, the woolly hat now sat atop of the double bass scroll with the duffle discarded.
They swung out, brother did they swing out. Hunter gave another end of set solo even though the set end was but a dot on the horizon!
Whittaker pitched in taking it to the limit. A slugfest 'twixt tenor and traps with Harrison as referee. No prisoners taken, no quarter given.
This was way out, and I use the expression advisedly, of my comfort zone yet I didn't mind. When somethings done well and effectively comfort zones cease to exist.
The music, as the name implies, hints at Thelonious Monk. Imagine Monk, blind drunk, and you've got the picture. They did actually play a Monk tune, the appropriately named Friday the Thirteenth.
There was also a Sam Rivers number but, in the main, original compositions by the three individuals.
There was a good turn out for a band which deserved nothing less.
Maybe I'll end up supporting Everton or Liverpool!
Photos.
Lance.

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Boss trio, nice review. Blind Monk Trio regularly appear at The Caledonia, Liverpool -- always a great night. Cheers 🍻.

David Keighley (on F/b) said...

Cracking gig indeed!

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