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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 Tuesday August 22

Afternoon
??????
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Evening
Charles Gordon (solo piano) - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Newcastle. 10pm - midnight. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Monday, April 18, 2016

GIJF: Café Society Swing - Sage Gateshead April 17


Alex Webb (pno/MD); Vimala Rowe (vcl); Ciyo Brown (vcl/gtr); Sue Richardson (tpt); Winston Rollins (tmb); Nat Facey (alt); Denys Baptiste (ten/clt); Miles Danso (bs); Shaney Forbes (dms).
(Review by Lance).
What a show! I'd seen Alex Webb's brainchild a couple of years back in a little theatre just off Leicester Square so I knew what to expect - or did I?
It's the story of the legendary New York nightclubs Café Society and Café Society Uptown that flourished between December 28, 1938, and March 2, 1949.
The owner, Barney Josephson, had the outrageous idea, for the time, that black and white folks should be able to meet and eat, drink and dance - unsegregated.
Shock! Horror! cried the authorities and, eventually, they won. However, over the eleven years of its existence,some of the finest American jazz musicians played there including Lena Horne, Billie Holiday, Mildred Bailey, Ida Cox, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Meade Lux Lewis and many more.
Alex Webb narrates the story from the piano. The social aspects told with ironical humour.
Vimala Rowe (pictured visiting the Jazz Coop stall) was a new name to most of the audience - she won't be after this stunning performance!
Dressed and coiffured as befitted the period, Vimala gave exquisite renditions of, among others, such classics as All of Me; What a Little Moonlight Can do; Stormy Weather; Where or When; I Let a Song Go Out of my Heart; Ida Cox's Wild Women Don't Have the Blues; Hurry on Down to my House and the dramatic finale - Strange Fruit. 60/70 years on it's still an emotional experience and there were very few dry eyes in the near-full auditorium.
Ciyo Brown, dressed as sharp as any cat in 1940's New York, played guitar and also sang. I'd heard One Meat Ball years ago without digesting the meaning. Brown's delivery, inspired by the Josh White recording was, in its own way, as full of pathos as Strange Fruit. Lush Life, some Jimmy Rushing Blues and a great duet with Vimala on a barroom 2am song, the title of which I'm not sure, were just some of his other numbers. 
As well as narrating, Webb's piano was evocative of the era whether backing the singers or soloing. It could have been Eddie Heywood or, at times, Albert Ammons.
The horns were used in a mainly supportive role although when they did pop-up it was done effectively. Sue Richardson on trumpet had some outstanding moments, in particular, the muted intro to Stormy Weather. Facey shone brightly as did Baptiste and Rollins. Danso and Forbes kept it all well fuelled.
The Café Society slogan was "The wrong place for the right people".
Last night, Sage Two was "The right place for the right people".
Lance.

1 comment :

  1. So disappointed I missed this Lance and even more after reading your comments. Thought it would be a great show. Had tickets for a couple of months and also missed Liane Carroll due to chest infection. Ah well there's next year!!

    ReplyDelete

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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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