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Bebop Spoken There

Alan Luff: “The general view is that Ella’s songbook recordings are the supreme exemplars of sophistication, fine diction and creative voice in the wide field of popular music.” – (Jazz Journal May 2017).

Steve Voce: “Most of us have been crashed into by cretins who walk along the road absorbed in the screens of their mobile phones.” – (Jazz Journal May 2017).

Number 22!

Bebop Spoken Here is currently listed at number 22 in the WORLD JAZZ BLOG Rankings!

Today Thursday May 25

Afternoon
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone, Newcastle (ish) NE27 0DA. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
Strictly Smokin' Big Band - Millstone, Haddricks Mill Rd., South Gosforth NE3 3DB. 7pm. Free.
Maine St. Jazzmen - Potters Wheel, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5EE. 8:30pm. 0191 4888068.
Dulcie May Moreno - Bar Loco, Leazes Park Rd., Newcastle NE1 4PG. 8pm? Free? 0191 2325871 to confirm times etc.
Ray Johnson/Richard Herdman - Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm. £5.
Babmus - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. £3/£2 (students/MU).
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Doo Wop Dollies - Queen's Hall, Beaumont St., Hexham NE46 3LS. 8pm. £10. 01434 652477.
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Tees Hot Club w. Richie Emmerson (tenor); Kevin Eland (trumpet); Ted Pearce (keys); Mark Hawkins (drums) - Dorman's, Oxford Rd., Middlesbrough. 9pm. Free.
New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - The Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees. 8:30pm.
Pocket Jazz Orchestra - Ship, Church Lane, Redmarshall, Stockton TS21 1EP. Free. 8:00PM.
Paul Skerritt Band - Pennyweight, Bakehouse Hill, Darlington DL1 5QA. 7pm. £25 (3 course meal inc.)
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ The Black Swan – Dec 19

(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew)
Take two: a second consecutive night at the Black Swan for the most popular big band around. A second consecutive full house…quite an achievement! The basement venue afforded the band the luxury of setting up without having to squeeze brass, reeds and a rhythm section into the usual small jazz venue with the dimensions of a telephone box. All seats were taken half an hour before the start, latecomers stood to one side. Drinks orders were of the ‘precariously-balanced tray snaking its way through the throng’ kind. The management of Newcastle Arts Centre couldn’t be other than delighted. A success every which way and MD Michael Lamb had yet to strike up the band!
Right on time the band hit the stage. We Three Kings proffered gifts; several big-hitters announced their arrival – Gowland, Jedrzejewski, Toms, Summers. Ding Dong Merrily on High (spot the seasonal theme) showcased the brass boys on a samba feel. The band boasts not one but two singers. They stepped forward as climate-change deniers – Baby, It’s Cold Outside. A week before Christmas and it was shirt-sleeve weather but Lindsay Hannon and F’reez did their best to convince us otherwise! The luminescent Ms Hannon stayed on to dream of a White Christmas and warn of That Ole Devil Called Love.
The three part Film Noir suite departed from the festive fayre to conclude the first set in full-on jazz mode. Engrossing stuff with Keith ‘Strictly Smokin’’ Robinson on alto.
The interval: an earlier global warming torrent had pushed out over the North Sea as one or two gig goers and musicians took the evening air. The thought occurred that down the lane Ms Ruth Lambert was holding court alongside pianist Alan Law at the Jazz Café. A review by Kath J to follow.
As with the first, the second set began right on time. Altoist Robinson had all but stolen the show first set, Steve Summers (soprano) set about staking a claim to the second set on Greta’s Groove, with more from Pav, guitar and Graham Don (piano). F’reez – not heard to best effect due to being way down in the mix – upped-it on Higher Ground. Had space permitted dancers would have been on the floor. The luminescent Ms Hannon returned to sing That Ole’ Black Magic, I’ve Got You Under My Skin and, inevitably, Santa Baby. A Strictly Smokin’ gig is always an occasion. Soloists pepper the sections – Kieran Parnaby (trombone), bassist Michael Whent stepped up, the assured Pete Tanton (trumpet/flugel), to name but three. This Black Swan two-nighter has become a highlight in the calendar. A three-nighter in 2016 could be on the cards, or, perhaps a Saturday matinee show could work, aimed at a younger (musician?) audience. If MD Michael Lamb puts his mind to it you never know.
The Strictly Smokin’ Big Band is an unalloyed success story: band management, on-time presentation, Guy Swinton’s excellent MC skills (and a fine drummer, to boot), the boys in the rhythm section, all and sundry make it the band it is. Your next opportunity to hear the Strictly Smokin’ is at a post-Christmas dance (yes, dance) gig at Hoochie Coochie on Tuesday 29 December. 100% recommended.
Russell.
Michael Lamb (trumpet & MD), Pete Tanton, Gordon Marshall, Dick Stacey (trumpets & flugelhorns); Kieran Parnaby, John Flood, Mark Ferris, David Barnes (trombones); Paul Gowland, Jamie Toms, Steve Summers, Keith Robinson, Laurie Rangecroft (reeds); Graham Don (piano), Pawel Jedrzejewski (guitar), Michael Whent (bass), Guy Swinton (drums), Lindsay Hannon (vocals) & F’reez (vocals)

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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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