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Bebop Spoken There

More from Jazz Monthly:

John Postgate: "Oscar Peterson played a good solo in 1954..." - (Jazz Monthly August 1960)

Bill Evans: "A composer writes something, and an orchestra interprets it--he spends maybe six months writing 10 minutes of music, but a jazz musician spends 10 minutes of playing 10 minutes of music, and he performs it himself". - (Jazz Monthly July1960).

Archives

Today Friday October 20

Afternoon
Rendezvous Jazz - The Monkseaton Arms, Front St., Monkseaton, Whitley Bay NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.

Hand to Mouth: Lindsay Hannon & Bradley Johnston - Bishop Auckland Town Hall. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Vasilis Xenopoulos & Paul Edis - Lit & Phil, 23 Westgate Rd., Newcastle NE1 1SE. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Evening
Julija Jacenaite & Alan Law - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9pm. Free.

King Bees - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

Vasilis Xenopoulos & Nigel Price w Paul Edis Trio - Traveller’s Rest, West Auckland Road, Cockerton, Darlington. DL3 9ER. 8:30pm. £10.00. Opus 4.

Hot 8 Brass Band - Northumbria Students’ Union, Sandyford Road, Newcastle NE1 8SB. Tel: 0191 227 4757 (SU enquiries). 7:30pm. £20.35.

Twin Beam - Hidden Heights Creative Studio, Brandling Street, Gateshead NE8 2BA. 6:30pm. Tickets: £5.00. in advance from Arch 16 Café (next to High Level Bridge). An Oxjam Gateshead Bridges Quarter event. Multi bill, multi venue.

Beth Macari - Prohibition Bar, Brandling Street, Gateshead NE8 2BA. 6:30pm. Tickets: £5.00. in advance from Arch 16 Café (next to High Level Bridge). An Oxjam Gateshead Bridges Quarter event. Multi bill, multi venue.

Sting - Bamburgh Castle. 7:15pm. Tickets: £250.00. & £150.00. Acoustic. Charity gig.

Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 7pm.

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

Monday, March 14, 2016

BSH Talks to Alex Webb about Café Society Swing.

The show, Café Society Swing, reappears at London's Pizza Express this Thursday, March 17, and if you live within the sound of Bow Bells, this is the only game in town. I saw the show a couple of years back and I'm delighted to see that, apart from Pizza, it's also heading north for the GIJF (Sage Gateshead April 17, 2pm.). YouTube clip. 


I spoke to Alex Webb, the creator of the show,
BSH: Alex, last time we spoke was actually at Sage Gateshead when Alexander Stewart was the support for Dionne Warwick.

Yes, that was a great tour and I can't believe it was more than three years ago!  It's rare for a British jazz group to get to play big halls with Steinway pianos night after night ... Alexander and I aren't working together live anymore but we're good mates and, in fact, we collaborated on a recording recently.

BSH: Alexander was also in Café Society Swing when I saw the show in London, in a small theatre just off Leicester Square back in 2012/13.

Yes, Alex and China Moses (Dee Dee Bridgewater's daughter) were in the original line-up. The show has evolved since then, in terms of script, arrangements and staging, eventually becoming quite a high-production theatre piece - but now it's back down to a touring concert show. Both formats work well in their own way.

BSH: Alex isn’t with you this time, in fact, although some of the band remain, the vocal team has changed several times since then. Would you like to tell us about the members of your current cast and have there been any changes in the actual show?

When China couldn't make the 2014 run in London I had a real headache - those are big shoes to fill!  Then someone tipped me off about a singer who was working with guitarist John Etheridge - and I knew anyone working with John would have to be good.  We hit it off and in fact I struck gold - Vimala Rowe isn't just a great singer, she's an utterly dynamic presence on stage.
Ciyo Brown is a multi-talented guy who works on the reggae and jazz scene and can play mean jazz guitar as well as sing this quite varied material convincingly.
The band  moves around a bit according to availability but it's a great team - in Gateshead we'll have Denys Baptiste, Nathaniel Facey, Sue Richardson and Winston Rollins in the front line and Miles Danso and Shaney Forbes in the engine room.  We've got half of Empirical on stage, in a way!

BSH: You’ve also taken the show to New York – How did that go? In a perfect world they should be taking the show to us! 

New York was a gas - I was working with a really hot crew of NY jazz musicians and the vocalists were Charenee Wade, Cyrille Aimee and Allan Harris, who recently won the DownBeat Rising Star award.  Sachal Vasandani and Dee Dee Bridgewater came down to check it out, and we got rave reviews, including the New York Times.  Tough though - 8 shows a week for three weeks - gets your chops together.
New Yorkers loved the story, as they should, and various descendants of club owner Barney Josephson came along and they loved it too.

BSH: There’s also a new project you’re involved in – A Tribute to Torch Song.

There's a great singer in London called Jo Harrop and she's got this delicious, creamy voice and a real feeling for the standards - so we've created an atmospheric words-and-music show which talks about the great Torch Songs and who sang them - and, of course, we get a chance to play them!

BSH: Yes we know Jo – she’s from Chester-le-Street.
Of course!

BSH: When I reviewed Café Society Swing after the London show I suggested it as being ideal for Sage Gateshead and now here it is!

Perhaps you planted the seed!  If anyone reading this can't get along, please think about buying my album 'Call Me Lucky' coming out on June 3 on Splash Point Records. It has eleven different jazz vocalists on it - including Liane Carroll, Allan Harris, China Moses, Vimala Rowe and my old partner in crime Alexander Stewart.  For updates go to alexwebbsongwriter.com 

BSH: Good to talk and I’m looking forward to seeing the show again.
Lance.

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About this blog - contact details.

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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