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Bebop Spoken There

John Tynan: "Go ahead, call me reactionary. I happen to object to the musical nonsense being peddled in the name of jazz by John Coltrane and his acolyte Eric Dolphy." - (Downbeat November 22, 1961).

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McCoy Tyner: "If anyone want to know how the three of us - Elvin, Jimmy and me - felt about John [Coltrane], listen to the music and you can hear the love and respect we had for each other. The music can really speak more than any of us." - (Melody Maker, August 19, 1967).
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Today Monday April 24

Afternoon.
Jazz in the Afternoon - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
Evening.
?????
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Early Bird Band & Gala Big Band @ St. Cuthbert's Crook - July 15.

Early Bird Band: Paul Edis (flute/alto MD); Ben Lawrence (trumpet); Francis D Tulip (guitar); Dr. Phil (piano); Dan Lawrence (bass); Matthew Mackellar (drums).
(Review by Steve T/Photos courtesy of Allison Fenton).
This must have been the toughest choice in North East Jazz since I became an observer, with potentially brilliant nights at the Globe, Hoochie and in Darlo, so I was fortunate the decision was made for me.
The Early Birds played an almost identical set to the one at the other St Cuthbert's in Shadforth last week, with added Blue Bossa, but Crook found the hard-core Early Birds, the ones who turn up every time, possibly the best I've ever heard them.
Ben found himself bereft of any support in the horns department with just Paul - just Paul! - but rose to the challenge magnificently, playing probably the best I've ever heard him, and quoting Clifford Brown's Joy Spring along the way.
Brother Dan, with the guitarists now standing, has to wear shoes but seems even more into it than ever. Dr Phil now sounding like he's been with the band from the start, totally unselfish, giving Francis as much space as he needs and adding some blues and some Monk.
Francis, at one point playing through a flanger, just to illustrate he can do Metheny as well as Benson and McLaughlin, playing his own compositions like they're - well - his own compositions. And surely Whiplash Mackellar has now taken his place amongst the array of outstanding drummers we're blessed with in the North East.
Paul, still on a flute kick, is getting more ambitious with his flurries and soloing during Hubbard’s Little Sunflowerwhich seems to have become a band favourite, descending once again into A Love Supremesome in the band and the hall singing along.  
As this version of the Early Birds prepares to disband there was euphoria amongst the parents and a newfound willingness to dare to admit how good they've become, but perhaps tinged with a little, resigned, sadness that a chapter in the band’s history is about to close .  
The setup, with a couple of dozen musicians in this tiny hall, resembled Earth, Wind and Fire - the most successful black band ever - crammed into Glasgow’s 02 Academy a couple of weeks back. Crook gives me the added attraction of home advantage and a couple of bottles of Workie Ticket during the interval, while Lord Edis and his team worked their magic like seasoned supergroup roadies.
Gala Big Band: Paul Edis (alto/ MD); Dave, Liz, Anthony, Jonathan, Tom (trumpets); Bob, Francesca, Steve, Peter, Lindsay saxes); Chris, Gareth, Thomas, Steve (trombones); Francis D. Tulip (guitar); Ben Lawrence (piano); Owen (bass); Alex (drums);  Alan (percussion); Johnny (vocal).
Voilà, and another band he's transformed beyond recognition over a similar time frame. This is a community band of local (to Durham) people of a wide variety of ages and mixed ability who come together every other Tuesday to play potentially anything in a big band stylee. As, when he plays solo piano, Paul recognises you've got to keep it interesting and has a real knack for picking stuff to carry the casual listener and the Jazz cognoscenti and all points between.
Something from Basie featuring one of the stars of the band, trumpeter Liz, followed by Bare Necessities featuring another, Ben Lawrence now debuting on piano.
Before the first of two Glenn Miller tracks, Paul acknowledged that some people have a problem with him and, while I'm probably one of them, I also recognise they're 'tunes' that people know and are the Beatles or Adele for an older generation.
Then Paul took the lead on Summertime himself, perhaps in recognition that it deserves something a little more 'serious.'
Just in case the casual listener still didn't feel catered for he brought on singer Johnny (not from the Godfather) for the first of two SinAtra classics, I've Got You Under My Skin followed later by Come Fly with Me.
Tom Jones once said 'what Frank wants Frank gets' and he wanted Nelson Riddle and a big band of world class musicians. Somebody once said to me Skin should be the yardstick for every big band performance and, if so, this group of enthusiastic amateurs did not do half bad at all, with Chris taking on the famous trombone attack like a trouper.
Incidentally, a box set of his Capital years has gone from a silly price at one end of the scale to a silly price at the other; twelve CDs for about as many quid and, for anybody who takes notice of the mass media obsession with the Beatles and/or Adele, this is the real Holy Grail of pop music. But if twelve CDs of SinAtra seems excessive, Songs for Swinging Lovers (featuring Skin) is the masterpiece.
Back to the gig and, would you believe Phil Collins? Against all Odds further illustrated the open-mindedness of the band, their leader and audience and is new to me and clearly a work in progress.
The set ended with perennial Lord Paul original Mikey’s Samba (named after a Micra - what else?) which gave the longest and best solo of the set to FDT, a barrage of drums and percussion behind him, courtesy Alex and Alan respectively, during his swansong as a permanent member of the band.   
Event organiser and mother to Lady Kate, Anne Timothy (The Timothys being another Edis favourite) thanked everybody, but particularly her son-in-law for everything he's done for St Cuthberts and North East Jazz. And so say all of us.
Steve T.

3 comments :

  1. Apparently my use of capital A in the middle of SinAtra has caused a little confusion, which is an improvement since I often cause a lot of confusion.
    A while back I bumped into someone I used to work with in the eighties when he was much younger than me but didn't remember him at first.
    What he remembered me for most was my pronunciation of SinAtra, with added emphasis on the second syllable and the 'a' sound rather than the more common 'ar' sound, and I told him I still do but now write it with a capital A as well.
    As my memory of him returned I recalled him walking round the office repeating SinAtra with a big grin on his face.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ah Steve, as it happens, my late buddy Jim McDowell used the same pronunciation. I wonder, is Nancy a Sinat or a Sinart? I remember, years ago, talking to a London secretary bird - or should it be broad? - and saying 'Hi, it's Lance here, we spoke yesterday.' A few moments silence before she said. 'Launce! Hello Launce.!

    ReplyDelete
  3. She's definitely Sinartra; the coolest white man of the last century, there's only one SinAtra.

    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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