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Bebop Spoken There

Sonny Rollins: "I work very hard. I wear out suits playing." - (Downbeat May 29, 1969.)

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Bob Brookmeyer: "The group's philosophy? We're saving to buy new uniforms - the ties wore out." - (Crescendo March 1965).

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Archives.

Today Friday March 24

Afternoon
Rendezvous Jazz - The Black Horse, Front St., Monkseaton, Whitley Bay NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.
Mick Shoulder's Swing Manouche - Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 1pm. £5. 0300 0269520
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Evening
James Harrison & Caroline Bagley- Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9pm. Free.
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Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 7:00pm.
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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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