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Bebop Spoken There

Miles Kington: "If the intake of alcohol fails to improve a jazz player's performance, why do jazz listeners think it improves their appreciation?" - (Jazz Express October 1982).

Barbara Jay: "My first gig was at the Astoria, Charing Cross Rd. It seemed like a den of iniquity to me. All the Soho girls were there and the gigolos with their old women paying them to dance..." - (Jazz UK May 2008.)

Archives.

Today Sunday February 26.

Afternoon.
Mark Williams (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 12:30pm. Free.
More Jam - Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 3pm. Free.
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Blues @ The Bay - Tanner Smith's 17-19 South Parade, Whitley Bay NE26 2RE, 0191 2525941. 4pm. Free. Blues jam w. Scott Wall & Charlie Philp.
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Musicians Unlimited - Park Hotel, Park Rd., Hartlepool TS26 9HU. 01249 233126.1pm. Free.
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Evening
Maine St. Jazzmen - Seaton Sluice Social Club, Collywell Bay Rd., Seaton Sluice NE26 4QZ. 8pm. £4.
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Shaun Henderson Band - Quakerhouse, Mechanics Yard, Darlington. 6pm. £5.
Jazz Jam - Empty Shop, 35c Framwellgate Bridge, Durham DH1 4SY. 7:30pm. Free.
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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 28, 2015

Manjula @ The Jazz Café – Nov.27

Vanessa Rani (vocals & percussion), Joe Harris (guitar), Simon Read (double bass) & Sam Bell (percussion).
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Mike Tilley).
Leeds College of Music has cultivated many fine musicians. Many of them find their way to Newcastle to play a gig. At the Jazz Café a new voice captivated the audience. Vanessa Rani possesses a fabulous voice, she’s a natural talent. Working with Ms Rani in the band Manjula are three top notch musicians; percussionist (and reassuring presence) Sam Bell, bassist Simon Read (himself leading a band at a young age) and guitarist Joe Harris.
Rani began with a tune she liked – a tune by Jamiroquai. Quietly funky, quietly grooving, nothing wrong with that. The self-effacing Rani confided that the boys in the band were a little less impressed with the once-hip mega star! A good tune is a good tune – play it! An indisputably good tune – Nature Boy – worked well, Rani’s rich vocals swirling round an interesting intro, pitch perfect. Rani is a composer; My Forefathers and Brother explored her heritage, the latter number perhaps recalling Marvin Gaye and Gil Scott Heron.
Angelique Kidjo’s Malaika featured guitarist Joe Harris. Considered, fearlessly few notes, searching, getting there. Rani sat throughout two sets – as did Bell and Harris – with a set list atop of congas. With some trepidation the vocalist joined Bell as a percussion duo on Paper Pictures, another original number, about the shortcomings of Facebook. Rani did a more than decent job and later revealed that Sam Bell has encouraged her to learn to play the instrument. Another brace of originals, then Afro Blue. A highlight of the gig, without a doubt. Soaring vocals…no, make that effortless, soaring vocals, Rani – the vocalist and percussionist! – excelled, yet generously afforded solo space to Harris and Read ahead of a stupendous percussive coda. Huge applause, subsequently Sam Bell told us that earlier in the day Vanessa almost talked herself out of taking on the percussive part. Thankfully, she went for it. To finish, Rani sang Angola. Passionate, talented, Vanessa Rani is a star in the making! 
Russell.

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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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