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Bebop Spoken There

Curtis Stigers: “I’m a jazz singer. I’m not a saxophonist. When I stand in front of a band like the Danish Radio Big Band or Ronnie Scott’s, I usually tend to leave the instrument on the stand.” – (The Northern Echo 20 July 2017)

Tamsin Austin, Director of Performance Programme, Sage Gateshead: “SummerTyne is our largest festival and we absolutely love it!” – (The Northern Echo 20 July 2017)

Today Friday July 21

Afternoon
Rendezvous Jazz - The Black Horse, Front St., Monkseaton, Whitley Bay NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.
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SummerTyne Americana Festival 2017 - Sage Gateshead. Day 0ne of three. Details. From 12 noon all day.
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Ruth Lambert Quartet - The Lit & Phil, 23 Westgate Rd., Newcastle NE1 1SE. 1pm. £5.
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Alice Grace Trio - Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 1pm. £5.
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Evening
Belinda Voshtina & James Harrison - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9pm. Free.
Washboard Resonators - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
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Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 7pm.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Alice Grace Quartet @ The Empty Shop, Durham - June 16

Alice Grace (vocal); Pete Gilligan (piano); Paul Grainger (bass); Russ Morgan (drums).
(Review by Steve T)
Lance did a comprehensive appraisal of an Alice Grace gig earlier in the week so you've had the older man viewpoint, this is the middle aged account, and you'll soon have the young man’s version of her Sunday night quintet gig at Blaydon from Russell.  
It was the first chance we have had to 'welcome' Alice to the Empty Shop and we weren't sure what the crowd would be like with students swanning about in their nice gowns, some mid-exams and others gone home, but we had a decent crowd of about thirty, enough to make it look busy.
Russell was a no-show due to a big band night nearer to home with the added attraction of making big band nut Tony jealous, but leaving me with the problem of where to get some paper; Ealesy, but no more than two flyers allowed!
I was taken by how confident, comfortable and relaxed Alice Grace is, though it seems she's been doing this for years. The rapport with her audience was easy and I loved the way she bossed the men in grey suits about. Not just a front person, this really was her band.
Opener Weaver of Dreams revealed a lovely clear voice which became even lovelier and clearer after a little twiddle of her amp before song two. Another spellbound audience and, once again, the Empty Shop couldn't believe its luck. Appropriate silence maintained at all times and solo applause intact and Tony, and this has very much become his night, wouldn't have it any other way. 
Her singing struck me as note perfect, husky when required and able to summon vibrato where necessary. Oozing style, class and sophistication, the North East has another superstar Jazz singer. She even wrote lyrics for a Chick Corea piece; is there no end to her talents?
When I lived in a nurses home (or was it a nursing home?), Thursday night was big night out but I would always stay in to watch politics and, following the shocking events of Thursday (and I'm no fan of politicians), I planned to leave during the break to get home for Question Time, but didn't dare miss anything. During the interval, the lady herself sat with us but all I could say was 'welcome'.
Highlight of the night for me was Until You Come Back To Me, I think a Stevie Wonder song but I play it by Lady Soul. A little tapping or knocking wouldn't go amiss but that's as critical of the night as I can get.
The men in grey suits were exemplary, as usual, particularly Russ playing with his hands, taking it up switching to sticks, which I love, but it was her night, they knew it and didn't mind one bit.
I was going to say tata but knew that all I'd manage would be 'welcome', so I left.
(NB. only avid viewers of 2 1/2 Men will have the first idea what I'm on about).
My intention was that this was going to be a Durham double header, with Swing Manouche the next day, but was scuppered by the arrival of Mr Edis senior at the Gala.
Working title was to be 'Beauty and the Beast' but I point blank refuse to divulge which was which so don't even ask. No.
The only thing I’d like to add re the Gala is pah! - How do you spell pah? Another string to add to the bow of Edis junior; a ringer hustling us all to believe he's an alright clarinet player. Word is on the street (52nd that is, or is it somewhere in Paris?) Return to Forever have agreed to reform with Sonny Rollins on tenor, but only if Lord Edis will play clarinet.
Steve T

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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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