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Bebop Spoken There

Artie Shaw: “I'm not interested in giving people what they want--I'm interested in making music.” – (DownBeat October 15, 1939).

Jason Marsalis: “There's so many places that this music can go and there's a lot yet to be discovered.'” – (DownBeat April 2018)

Today Sunday March 18


Musicians Unlimited - Park Inn, Park Road, Hartlepool TS26 9HU. Tel: 01429 233126. 12 noon. Free.

Jason Isaacs & the Ambassadors of Swing - Hoochie Coochie, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6SF. Tel: 0191 222 0130. 5:30pm (doors 4:00pm). £16.00.

Revolutionaires - Tyne Bar, Maling St, Newcastle NE6 1LP. 3pm. Free.

Somethin’ Blue - Vesuvio, 3a Houndgate, Darlington DL1 5RL. 5:00pm. Tel: 01325 788564. Matt Case (saxophone) & Mike Hepple (guitar).


POSTPONED DUE TO WEATHER! Zoë Gilby Quartet - Black Bull, Bridge Street, Blaydon NE21 4JJ. 8:00pm. £5.00. Rescheduled August 19.

Alter Ego - The Globe, 11 Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.00.

Bradley Johnston - The Fire Station, High Street West, Sunderland SR1 3DT. Tel: 0191 594 7241. 6:00pm. Free. New weekly residency.

Gypsy Dave Smith - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

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

Friday, September 02, 2016

New Century Ragtime Orchestra @ Ushaw Durham Jazz Festival August 27

(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Gordon Carlton)
Let us pray! The first words of Steve Andrews introducing the New Century Ragtime Orchestra in the hallowed surroundings of Ushaw College. Andrews’ one-liners came thick and fast, although on this engagement the band’s MC was pressed into action in
the reed section, occupying the chair usually reserved for Gavin Lee, resulting in an impressive display of  multi-tasking combining comic asides with first rate playing.
Gavin Lee, renowned clarinettist and saxophonist, assumed the drum chair, the band’s regular percussionist being unavailable for this concert date. Lee began playing jazz as Brian Carrick’s drummer, and now, after a number of years, he was to act as drum dep. The indications were good: a minimalist’s set-up of bass drum, snare and two cymbals. Piano duties were put the way of Paul Edis. One could be forgiven for thinking he had little else to do! Dr Edis donned a fetching white bow tie…
 King Oliver towers over the early years of the so-called ‘classic jazz era’. And so it was that the ensemble began with Too Bad, recorded by Oliver’s Dixie Syncopators. I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Baby introduced vocalist Caroline Irwin and she stayed on to sing I’m Through with Love. Not to be outdone, Jim McBriarty, affectionately known as the band’s boy singer asked the question: What do we do on a Dew, Dew, Dewy Day? Cole Porter’s Let’s Do It, Dorothy Fields/Jimmy McHugh’s Doin’ the Low Down and a rather nice rendition, in French, sung by Irwin, of  J’attendrai were three of many great numbers played during two sets. Steve Andrews featured on the Jean Goldkette hit I’m Gonna Meet My Sweetie Now playing alto, either side of a string of witty observations, some of which poked fun, albeit gently, at some of his band mates.                    
 The New Century got down to playing some serious jazz on Ellington’s Black and Tan Fantasy. Andrews alluded to Bubber Miley and Arthur Whetsol in introducing Graham Hardy’s growling, plungered mute, trumpet part. The Northern Monkey did just fine, as did Ed Cross (violin), Edis, and Andrews himself playing clarinet. Patrol Wagon Blues produced more fine jazz as Hardy (trumpet), and McBriarty (vocals and arrangement),   took on a classic number. Steve Andrews reminded the audience of Henry ‘Red’ Allen’s fondness for the tune, so, no pressure on Messrs Hardy and McBriarty! The boys ‘done good’. MC Andrews picked up his tenor for some spirited playing on a rousing finale: Limehouse Blues. The New Century Ragtime Orchestra, to coin a phrase, should be on everyone’s ‘bucket list’. A unique ensemble doing invaluable work under the dedicated direction of band leader Dave Kerr, make a point of hearing the band.    
Footnote. MC Steve Andrews declared: Paul Edis is as significant as it gets [on the jazz scene] in the northeast.
Steve Andrews (MC, tenor & alto saxophones, clarinet), Jim McBriarty (alto saxophone, clarinet & vocals), Alan Marshall (tenor & alto saxophones, clarinet), Graham Hardy (trumpet), Alistair Lord (trumpet); Neville Hartley (trombone); Ed Cross (violin); Keith Stephen (guitar & banjo); Paul Edis (piano); Phil Rutherford (sousaphone); Gavin Lee (drums) & Caroline Irwin (vocals)

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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: I look forward to hearing from you.