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Bebop Spoken There

Vadim Neselovskyi, Professor of Jazz Piano, Berklee College of Music: “Every pianist has to deal with a very complex left-hand part at some point. This is the essential pianistic experience – to split your brain into two halves and execute two very different tasks at the same time.” – (Down Beat September 2017).

Roscoe Mitchell: “To me, improvisation is trying to improve your skills so you can make these on-point compositional decisions. That takes practice.” – (Down Beat September 2017)

Archives

Thursday September 21

Afternoon
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., nr. Newcastle NE27 0DA. 1:oopm. Free.
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Tees Valley Jazzmen - White Horse Hotel, Burtree Lane, Harrowgate Hill, Darlington DL1 3AD. 1:30pm. Free. 01325 463262.

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Evening.
Maine Street Jazzmen - Potter's Wheel, Sunniside NE16 5EE. 8:30pm. Free.
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Courtney Pine: Black Notes from the Deep - Sage Gateshead NE8 2JR. 7:30pm. £25.60. 0191 4434661.
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Katie Mac (w. 6 piece band) - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. Free.
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Emma Fisk & James Birkett - St. Cuthbert's Church, Shadforth DH6 1LF. 7:30pm.
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Pocket Jazz Orchestra: Jazz & Tapas - No. 60, Arc, Dovecote St., Stockton TS18 1LL. 7pm. £10.
Tees Hot Club w. Alan Marshall (saxes); Kevin Eland (trumpet); Ted Pearce (keys) - Dormans, Oxford Rd., Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. 9pm. Free.
New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton TS18 4AW. 8:30pm.01642 678129.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Early Birds Band @ Lit and Phil - May 14.

Paul Edis - alto, piano, MD. Ben Lawrence - trumpet. Nick Caughey - tenor. Francis Tulip - guitar. Dan Lawrence - bass guitar. Mathew MacKellar - drums. James Metcalfe - trumpet. Phil Grobe - piano.
(Review by Steven T).
With none of the mainstays there, it's fallen to me and my extended, misspent youth impaired memory to report on the latest offering from Dr. Edis and his young hopefuls. 
With the approaching departure of a couple of members he's added James Metcalfe on trumpet and Dr. Phil on piano, perhaps to replace Francis on guitar and to free up Paul to further beef up the horns.
This hit immediately on opener Maiden Voyage by Herbie Hancock with two trumpets, alto and tenor coming over more like a classic funk band horn section  than soloists, although all delivered accomplished solos during the course of the morning.
No reflection on the trumpet players whatsoever and I know they'll forgive me if, for once, I single out Nick for his lovely, uncluttered, effortless, natural sound; more Lester Young or Ben Webster than Coleman Hawkins, Sonny Rollins or Trane. When I arrived just before they went on, he was sat playing his horn in an exact Pres position and I wished I'd had a pork pie hat to stick on his head.
Soul is not something you can learn, practice or fake and when it intersects with technique and composition (including improvisation) is when Jazz becomes the Great American/C20th Art Form. Shame he's not pursuing music as a career but great he's sticking around.
Couple of birthdays in the audience changed the format a little and the rest of the band left Francis and Paul on piano to play Vignette, a Paul original for Francis' mothers $%"&*()! birthday. The pair played this in Darlington a few weeks ago and it was magical and I hope it had a similar impact on his mother on her birthday.
Mother of Dan and Ben (or is it Ben and Dan?) also has a birthday; on Tuesday she'll be £()*&%$£ and the band played a great, fun, almost New Orleans style version of Happy Birthday.
The unsung hero of this band is often hard-working bass player Dan (or is it Ben?), always animated, his shoes off, who didn't take any solos this time but gave us an interesting reinterpretation of You've Got A Friend In Me from Toy Story, he's renamed For Friends.
Following Blues for Alice, maintaining the (Early) Bird continuum, Dan (Ben ) suggested the excellent Manteca by Dizzy, with some great quirky piano from Dr. Phil in a suitably concise solo, and ending with an excellent extended exchange between Paul on alto and drummer Mathew MacKellar.
They're back at the Lit and Phil at the same time on June 18 and July 16, supporting Sue Ferris at Ushaw on Friday, May 27, supporting the Gala Big Band in Crook on Friday July 15, opening Saturday at the Ushaw festival and the final performance of this particular line up is supporting Nigel Price at the Jazz Café on Friday, Sept. 16.
Steven T
In the picture, Francis and the Brothers Lawrence are unwinding after the gig.

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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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