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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)

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Today Tuesday September 26

Afternoon
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Black Bull, 98 Front St., East Boldon NE36 0SG. 1pm. Free. 0191 5365127. 2nd of 6 consecutive gigs. 2 mins from East Boldon metro.
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Evening
Maine Street Jazzmen - Royal British Legion, West Jesmond Ave., Newcastle NE2 3EX. 8:30pm. £5.
Charles Gordon (solo piano) - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Newcastle. 10pm - midnight. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Hughie Aitchison Story on Record. Tracks 1 and 1a

My favourite tipple, at the Jazz Café, is a bottle of Geordie Jazz. It's also the ideal brew to indulge in whilst listening to this brand of Geordie Jazz as it was when young men of the 1950s were stretching their musical legs. Hughie Aitchison and his longtime sidekick Ronnie McLean were two such preachers of Jazz Revivalism working with, and often against,  the beboppers. Both sides oblivious to the threat of Rock 'n' Roll.
This compilation by Hughie's son Colin has so many memories that I can only treat them track by track and, as such, totally unable to do it in one go so just pick up on my day to day ramblings of what is a historic document.
The opening track - Keep Your Feet Still Geordie Hinnie - tells us that this track by Stan Wilde's Wilde Cats couldn't have been recorded anywhere else but in the northeast - Durham Jazz Club to be precise although, where Durham Jazz Club held forth on June 25, 1950, remains a mystery.
The recording is as good as can be expected with Hughie's driving, Spanier type lead, McLean's trombone - not as smooth as in later years when Kid Ory gave way to Jack Teagarden and Stan Martin reminding us that he discovered Benny Goodman before Pee Wee Russell (in later years he successfully managed  to merge the two seemingly disparate styles. Alan Brown, later to form the Panama Jazzmen (or was it before?) kept the rhythm section afloat and, on drums, Gordon Prudham!
I knew Prudham from the years he spent working with Ronnie Callaghan at various CIU clubs but hadn't realised he'd been a part of the trad scene but, the adage holds true, if you can play you can play whatever the gig demands. As a matter of non-musical interest, Gordon Prudham made Marshall Walker seem like a stand-up comedian! Marshall will return later.
Nick Downing replaced McLean for At the Jazz Band Ball and, I must confess, Downing is an unfamiliar name to me but he did the business here - was he a student sitting in? Questions to be answered!

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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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