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Number 22 in World Jazz Blog Rankings

Number 22 in World Jazz Blog Rankings

Bebop Spoken There

Howard Riley: “When I started out playing jazz back in the late 50s, early 60s, if you wanted a gig you had to learn some standards.” – (Jazz Journal April 2017)

Eric Harland: “I love swing and I’m always going to swing but I also know that you can take a hip-hop groove and improvise with that just like you would with a swing pattern.” – (Jazz Journal April 2017)

Today Saturday April 29

Afternoon

1pm: Dean Stockdale Trio. 2:30pm: Abbie Finn Quartet 4pm: Rick Laughlin Trio - Quakerhouse, Mechanics’ Yard, Darlington DL3 7QF. 01325 245052. 1:00-5:00pm. Free (donations).

Evening

Dave O’Higgins with Durham Alumni Big Band - Majestic Theatre, Bondgate, Darlington DL3 7JT. Support set by Durham County Youth Big Band (7:15pm). £12.00. (+ concs).

Late night jam session - Quakerhouse, Mechanics’ Yard, Darlington DL3 7QF. 01325 245052.10:30pm. Free.

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Ruby Turner - Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm. £21.00. & £20.00.

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Fever & Friends - Customs House, Mill Dam, South Shields NE333 3NG. 7:30pm. £12.00. 0191 454234.

Bradley Johnston (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 7:30pm. No cover charge.

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

Monday, November 30, 2015

Full House! - Gala Big Band @ Durham Town Hall, Nov. 29.

(Review/photos by Jerry).
Despite “Clodagh” spitting and howling like a banshee outside, the Gala Big Band were welcomed by a full house (120+) and proceeded to blow up a storm of their own! Despite this being, I think, only their third public concert, they entertained the audience so successfully that when the applause had died down their departure into the inhospitable storm (Silver Street was like a wind-tunnel!) was accompanied by much animated chat (“I haven’t seen these before – why have I never seen these before?”) and a protective warm glow inside. Very seasonal!
And there were elements of a Christmas concert here – Ashleigh and Declan (students at the Sage, I believe) sang Baby It’s Cold Outside, the band-leader played Nat King Cole’s Christmas Song, the band (with trumpets very much to the fore) did a beautiful version of In the Bleak Midwinter and Ashleigh returned, accompanied by George on piano, with some sweet vocals on Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
Away from the seasonal and into the realms of timeless we had Duke’s A-train, Neal Hefti’s Flight of the Foo Birds, Miller’s In the Mood, Satin Doll, The Pink Panther, All of Me and, in response to shouts of “More, more, more” we had Mercy, Mercy, Mercy. I knew the tune but not the name, Joe Zawinul. You learn something new every day – or every gig, at least.
There were Edis originals, too, such as Straight to the Point, the hectic Narrow Escape and the booming baritone-driven Techtonic. By way of contrast, another original, new to me and quite new to the band, was slow-paced, atmospheric and moving. The people demonstrating round the corner against the proposed closure of the DLI Museum would have endorsed its Last Post - like mood and the sentiments of the title: Too Sad for Words. I think I’ve missed at least two numbers out (must improve my note-taking!) but it can be seen from the titles above that this was a very varied programme. Time, like those Foo Birds, flew.
There were many good solos –with each concert I think the players are becoming confident enough to step into the limelight – and the ensemble playing is really powerful (as you would expect from such a very big band)!
I must apologise for being unable to list all the musicians or attribute the solos, but hats off to all (including the trumpeters with hats ON!). This is one outfit which gets better with every outing, has its eye on the ball at all times, scores at will and has a growing fan-base eager to see more. I wish a certain other team was like that!
For more info on the band check out Gala Big Band on Facebook.
Photos.
Jerry.

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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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