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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 Wednesday August 23

Afternoon
Vieux Carre Jazzmen - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
New Orleans Jazz at the Village Hall - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Rd., Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm. £3.
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Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. £1. 8pm.
Billy's Acoustic Blues - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free (weekly).
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Raymond MacDonald & Gunter ‘Baby’ Sommer @ The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle - June 5














Raymond MacDonald (Alto/soprano); Gunter ‘Baby’ Sommer (drums/perc).
(Review by Steve H/photos courtesy of Ken Drew.)
As the sunlight  over the railway bridge  poured through the bay window into the upstairs room  at The Bridge on Sunday night the audience were not only blinded by the sun’s rays but also by the brilliant radiance of the magnificent duo on stage.  It is easy to be prone to hyperbole when enthusiastically reviewing a gig from the night before but I can honestly say that was one of the best gigs in over 40 years that I ever had the pleasure of attending.
Sommer had driven his kit over from Dresden for this short tour and it was well worth the mileage such was the fascinating variety and range of instruments he transported.
From the off it was obvious that there was a close bond between the two protagonists as the interplay and improvisation on display appeared effortless. Unlike much heavily improvised music, the music was accessible and melodic at all times and I’m sure those who may have been put off by the ‘On The Outside’ label would have thoroughly enjoyed this evening.  
MacDonald has a beautiful tone on both alto and soprano and this was really emphasised by a solo piece he performed during the first set. Sommer is a fascinating stylist and augments proceedings with wonderful atmospheric chanting.  This set concluded with the pair lifting a wooden chest to the front of the stage which was a German-made copy of a similar African instrument; the sounds and rhythms Sommer was able to extract from this ‘box’ together with Macdonald’s subtle accompaniment was spectacular.
The second set began where the first left off Sommer played another amazing bit of kit – a metre wide circular cymbal (which appeared to resemble an upturned Moroccan tea table top) rested on the floor of the stage producing the most phenomenal sound. This set also featured a percussion solo which seemed to encompass all of Sommer’s great qualities of improvisation, musicality, technique and humour. At one point he was pretending to hit the drums whilst making the percussive sounds vocally. At the conclusion of the gig, the audience burst into sustained heartfelt applause. Both MacDonald and Sommer thanked the audience for their contribution to the evening. As an encore, Sommer accompanied his partner on the jaw harp. The pair then exited the room still playing allowing the music to drift to a sumptuous close. It was one of Sommer’s late compatriots who wrote a tune which summed up the evening perfectly ‘Ode to Joy’.
Steve H.

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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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