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Bebop Spoken There

Danny Gatton: "I was tired of playing in beer joints. I wanted to do something tangible like building cars. But once you do music it gets into your blood. You can get away from it for awhile but sooner or later it comes back to you." - (Down Beat April 1991).

Tal Farlow: "There were times when I would stop [playing guitar] and do sign painting." - (Downbeat December 5, 1963)

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Today Wednesday August 23

Afternoon
Vieux Carre Jazzmen - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
New Orleans Jazz at the Village Hall - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Rd., Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm. £3.
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Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. £1. 8pm.
Billy's Acoustic Blues - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free (weekly).
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Jo Harrop Quartet @ The Gala Theatre, Durham. Nov 6.

Jo Harrop (vocals), Neil Harland (bass), Rob Walker (drums) and Paul Edis (piano).
(Review by Jerry)
Jo Harrop, a great band and a programme listing (among others) Gershwin, Porter, Legrand and Billie Holiday – what a perfect antidote to the soggy Bonfire Night I had in Borrowdale! There was a full house (100), with people being turned away at the door and an expectant hush at 12.59 and into the opening song, Love Me or Leave Me - no noisy diners here!
Looking across the river there were still autumn colours to be seen against a slate-blue sky befitting Autumn in New York. The line: “Autumn in New York is often mingled with pain”, was not true at the Gala with Jo Harrop’s vocals to soothe us. There was seasonal consolation later, too, in Legrand’s You Must Believe in Spring: “If winter comes, can spring be far behind?” Nothing like a bit of Shelley to adorn already beautiful lyrics!
I’m a Fool to Want You by Herron / Sinatra / Wolf is a tune which does NOT suffer from being much-covered over the years. Here the backing was stripped down to minimal - no solos - allowing the audience to focus entirely on the plaintive Billie Holiday-style delivery. It was “hear a pin drop time” in the packed room.
Piano and bass both got to solo on Richard Rodgers’ cheery, up-tempo This Can’t Be Love and then we had more master-class lyrics on Cole Porter’s It’s All Right with Me. Who else coolly rhymes “chips” with “lips” outside of a limerick?
Bye Bye Blackbird opened with just vocals and bass and, sung in the manner of Julie London, achieved another “pin-drop” silence until it became Bye Bye Blackbird (Hello Durham Constabulary) as Jo had to contend with sirens full blast on Milburngate Bridge! Nowhere’s perfect…
Rob Walker’s drumming came more to the fore on Gershwin’s lovely The Man I Love. Maybe that should be Gershwins’ as Ira’s lyrics contribute much to the enduring appeal of the tune. Tuesday, there, might be “good news day” but we were all doing nicely on Friday, thank you! I Can’t Give You Anything but Love saw Jo at her most winsome and some trading fours generated more fizz and pop than our sparklers last night.
Then more Cole Porter with an up-tempo Just One of those Things which featured more great lyrics, though apparently it was a friend of Porter’s who suggested the adjective in “gossamer wings”. No one’s perfect?
The official last number was my idea of perfect – how could they top it? Great blues piano (with piano “answering” the vocals), great bass solo and great blues singing on Billie Holiday’s Fine and Mellow…….which they then topped with their encore: I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to Be Free! I have loved this song since I first heard Jo Harrop perform it about 5 years ago and it took on added poignancy having watched, two days ago, a DVD of Twelve Years a Slave in which I found the brutality portrayed truly shocking. Anyway, the audience clearly loved it too.
Never mind soggy Bonfire Night – this was Christmas come early!
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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