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Bebop Spoken There

Miles Kington: "If the intake of alcohol fails to improve a jazz player's performance, why do jazz listeners think it improves their appreciation?" - (Jazz Express October 1982).

Barbara Jay: "My first gig was at the Astoria, Charing Cross Rd. It seemed like a den of iniquity to me. All the Soho girls were there and the gigolos with their old women paying them to dance..." - (Jazz UK May 2008.)

Archives.

Today Tuesday February 28

Bill Laurence Group - Sage Gateshead. 8pm. £17.40.
Alex Munk's Flying Machines - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. £10/£8. JNE/Schmazz gig.
Maine St. Jazzmen - Royal British Legion Club, 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.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Bonga, Champion & Mwamba - Bridge Hotel, Newcastle - September 4

Ntshuks Bonga (alto & soprano sax); Andy Champion (bass); Corey Mwamba (vibes) 
(Review/photo courtesy of Ken Drew).
This was the long awaited ‘follow-up gig’ to the original performance by the trio who first appeared at Jazz North East’s January 2014 Fundraiser Event.  Hitting the ground running, the trio worked through an edgy feeling introduction with brief solos to establish themselves and to each stake their claim.  Then a brief introduction to a piece with a more in-your-face exploration of improvisation and the sonics which emerge from all available sources. Andy providing deep bass sounds with interjections/sonic outbursts from Ntshuks and Corey - the interplay was always evident. 
Some quiet and reflective sections, then further outbursts – Ntshuks exploding on sax, Corey on fire attacking the vibes with mallets, then fingers, then fists, then swiftly wafting the air above the vibes to excite the sound.  Andy also on fire as strings were manually plucked, then percussively hit with a mallet (from Corey’s kit?) giving way to a section of rhythmic drumming on the bass woodwork. All coherently executed by the trio to an enthralled audience in an atmosphere where you could hear a pin drop.
Set 2 was straight in with a frantically percussive start focussing on a Bass – Vibes interplay.  Then more exploration from Andy of the instrument’s bass sounds including an extended bowed section, with Corey running along the blocks of the vibes with fingers and mallets and fists. Ntshuks adding to the mix with his own percussive sounds from the sax. All in all a very contemplative section, slowly giving way to a rhythmic section long enough to establish a recognisable groove.
At the end of the second set the enthralled audience showed their appreciation, and the trio were urged to give an encore. A more concise but very dynamic piece still full of the exuberance and energy of the earlier pieces. Enthralling and exhilarating!!
This gig launched the trio’s debut CD ‘The Paperstone Suite’.  Or rather the cover of their CD since the physical CDs are promised to follow due to a last minute delay. This wasn’t seen as a  deterrent for those wanting to hear the music again at close quarters, particularly as pre-purchasers were also to receive a download of tonight’s gig as a bonus.
Ken.

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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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