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Bebop Spoken There

Frank Tate: “Travelling’s part of life. It just goes with the job. It’s in one’s best interests, I think, to enjoy it, because it’s sure what you’re gonna be doing!” – (Jazz Journal February 1992)

Joe Temperley"I was on the bus as Carney's replacement. I said to Harold Ashby 'Where are we going?' He answered 'What difference does it make?' " - (Jazz UK January 2013.)

Archives.

Today Saturday January 21

Evening

James Harrison (solo piano) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 7:30pm. No cover charge.

Hannah Taylor/Alix Shepherd - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Castle Garth, Newcastle NE1 1RQ. Free 7.pm 0191 2331010.

Dutch Treat - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9pm. £3.

Budtet - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm. £5.

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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

MANJULA : A Masala Festival gig @ The Black Swan, Newcastle

Vanessa Rani (vocals); Joe Harris (guitar); Simon Read (bass); Sam Bell (percussion)
(Review/photo by Ken Drew)
Typically Gem Arts’ Masala Festival is a mix of South Asian arts and culture, but this co-promotion with Jazz North East has widened the scope to include influences from further afield drawing on Portuguese, African and Latin Jazz influences. Leeds-based Manjula focusses on music from different cultures with Afro-Cuban rhythms being very much in evidence, as were the array of congas on stage!  The band is well supported by musicians bringing with them a breadth of experience in their own right - with percussionist Sam Bell, guitarist Joe Harris and bassist Simon Read all key members of the vibrant Leeds scene. 
Their first song was a classic but very much in their own style – Nature Boy (almost sounded to me like it was announced as Culture Boy).  What a great rendition when given their own treatment, very nicely done!  Then followed by My Forefathers – a song about being brought up in a mixed community, ending with a long Bass solo which segued into a slow groove with an intoxicating rhythm.  With their credentials established, the band explored more styles and varying rhythms, some with self-penned lyrics – mostly about culture but some political too. One was about looking over the edge of a cliff and thinking you’re going to fall off it, but drawing back.  Another was Vanessa’s first song written while learning to play the congas, and Painting Pictures about Facebook and the stories behind the pictures you see.  Afro Blue was quite an extended piece then 0105 (or is that a PIN number I overheard during the announcement?)  And finally, an Afro-Cuban styled Angola which brought the evening to a (late) close, but with rapturous applause.
It’s difficult to put this music into a specific genre. In fact there’s little point – it delivers an easily accessible groove with a range of styles which are a good basis for the group to play together, take solos, enjoy what they do, entertain and intoxicate the audience.  A nice excursion for Jazz North East followers, and Gem Arts too!
Ken Drew.

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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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