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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.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Buck Clayton Legacy Band @Sage Gateshead – a postscript

(Review by Hugh C).
Following Russell's excellent (and accurate) review I would like to add my two penn'orth (1/21st of Three and Six if my maths is correct!).
The brave few ventured forth on the Saturday morning following to attend the Buck Clayton Legacy Band Workshop.   We duly arrived and were ready and waiting (watches synchronised) outside the Northern Rock Foundation Hall at 0955h sharp.  After a while one of the Sage Gatehsead stewards arrived and seemed surprised to find the the tickets we eagerly proffered clearly bore the words Start Time:  10:00 AM.  The band apparently were under the impression that the workshop commenced at 10:30 AM!  One disgruntled punter muttered the word ridiculous, but, hey man – that's Jazz!
The upside was we had time to grab a coffee to take in.  As we entered the Hall the band's instruments were already laid out on their stands ready.  The full line-up from Friday night were there by 1020, no-one looked the worse for wear, although the trombonist, Adrian Fry, did try and blame a lapse of memory during the morning on the earliness of the hour!
The workshop commenced with a rousing rendition of Cotton Tail.  The next musical item was Take the A Train – the first part in the arrangement used in the Friday gig and the second part straight.  The overall format of the morning was music/talk/music....  Alyn Shipton gave a brief introduction as to why the Buck Clayton Legacy Band were playing Duke Ellington (one of the reasons was that Buck and Duke were long-time friends, and indeed Duke Ellington was best man at Buck's wedding).  Each of the Legacy Band musicians was then asked to paint a word picture of the Ellington Band musicians who would have played their instrument(s).  Some of these pictures took the form of a question and answer dialogue between the band members.  The result was a fascinating insight into the history and practice of the Ellington Band and the approach that 21st Century musicians took to this music. 
The next musical item was an illustration of a contrafact - a term apparently only recently introduced to the remainder of the band by Alan Barnes.  A contrafact is a musical composition consisting of a new melody overlaid on a familiar harmonic structure (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contrafact) and was beautfully illustrated by playing Johnny Hodges' Shady Side (as on the Friday evening), but this time  preceded by a short extract from On The Sunny Side of the Street.
When the time came for Bobby Worth (the self-declared oldest member of the band) to talk drummers he revealed the ace up his sleeve.  Bobby had actually seen the Ellington band play on two separate occasions in London. 
The morning was a tour de force, both on the part of the band themselves and the audience who numbered as many as a cricket team, but were richly rewarded and also contributed themselves to an informed and interesting discussion during the workshop.
The band (as we were informed on several occasions) had a gig to get to in Maidstone the same evening and were keen to get on the road.  An invited audience request of Mood Indigo provided an illustrative Ellingtonian ballad (exquisitely played) followed the band's choice of the more up-tempo Rockin' in Rhythm for a finale.
All in all an excellent combination – and congratulations to Ros Rigby and the Sage for programming these two events.  It's a shame that there was not a larger audience for the workshop, but this was more than made up for by the near sell-out attendance the evening before.
Hugh.

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