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Bebop Spoken There

John Wilson: “I find it really absurd that music is not on the school curriculum.” – (The Northern Echo 15 June 2017)

Sue McCreeth: “I try to get the soulfulness of Claire Martin and Liane Carroll, the elegance and coolness of Norma Winstone.” – (Jazz Journal June 2017)

Number 22!

Bebop Spoken Here is currently listed at number 22 in the WORLD JAZZ BLOG Rankings!

Today Thursday June 22

Afternoon
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone, Newcastle (ish) NE27 0DA. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
Group Theory - Jazz Café. 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. £6 (£5 in advance) - DUBB past and present members.
Gabriele Heller Quartet - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8:00pm. £5.
Maine St. Jazzmen - Potters Wheel, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5EE. 8:30pm. 0191 4888068.
Juggernaut Love Band - Bar Loco, 22 Leazes Park Rd., Newcastle NE1 4PG. 8pm. Free.
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Tees Hot Club w. Richie Emmerson (tenor); Donna Hewitt (alto); Graha Thompson (keys) - Dorman's, Oxford Rd., Middlesbrough. 9pm. Free.
New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - The Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees. 8:30pm.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Scarborough Jazz Festival 2016 - Saturday September 24: Barnes/O’Higgins & the Sax Section

(Review by Russell).
As the Spa festival stage crew prepared the platform for the Alan Barnes/Dave O’Higgins saxophone summit a piano tuner quietly went about his business at the Bösendorfer     grand. This an example of the attention to detail, central to the smooth running of a major jazz festival. The Grand Hall audience took five, the room sweltering on a late September Scarborough afternoon.
Alan Barnes and Dave O’Higgins worked together regularly at the Pizza Express in Soho in the 1980s: ‘every Monday evening for about twelve years’ recalled Barnes. O’Higgins nodded, perhaps pondering the intervening years, one suspects gone in a trice! Here at the 2016 Scarborough Jazz Festival the Barnes/O’Higgins’ Sax Section took to the stage with a casual air, virtuosi ready to go to work. The main men, flanked on their left by Sammy Mayne, described by Barnes as his favourite alto sax player, and on baritone, a favourite of Humphrey Lyttleton, Karen Sharp. To their right, playing tenor sax, Judith O’Higgins.

Behind the front line but well up to the mark, the first rate rhythm section of the depping Gareth Williams (fellow pianist Robin Aspland stranded in motorway traffic!), swinging drummer Sebastiaan de Krom and the impressive double bass player Adam King. Names: Dexter, Wardell, Lockjaw; tunes: The Chase, Chelsea Bridge, Oh, Gee!  Yes, a gig to die for! Band soloists ranged right across the front line and the engine room boys. Ms Sharp found her way around the baritone as if playing a quicksilver alto. Audiences like Karen Sharp! Sammy Mayne, blushing at Barnes’ high praise, played killer alto, yet never took to grandstanding. This wasn’t a ‘blazer and slacks’ gig, at least sartorially, rather in style, musically speaking. The two-tenor O’Higgins’ partnership heard Dave in robust form, a more refined Judith stating her case. Alan Barnes is Alan Barnes, isn’t he? Consistency a byword, Barnes introduced the numbers – End of a Love Affair (a feature for Sharp), the Dexter Gordon/Wardell Gray version of The Chase (arr Dave O’Higgins) and a Barnes’ arrangement of Benny Carter’s Just a Mood.

The Grand Hall audience laboured in the heat, Barnes quipped they were ready for their cocoa! That perked them up, just in time for Lockjaw Davis’ rousing Oh, Gee! The Sax Section is a festival winner – familiar names, likewise tunes, jazz at its best. Adam King impressed. A first in-concert hearing for your reviewer of the young London-based bass player, add the name to the list of ‘first call’ musicians. Lean, at a distance not dissimilar to Andy Cleyndert, then the realisation that King has a similar approach; time, his sound subservient (in the best sense) to the tune. A fine set from the Barnes/O’Higgins’ combo.    

Russell.
Alan Barnes (alto & soprano saxophones, clarinet), Sammy Mayne (alto saxophone), Dave O’Higgins (tenor saxophone), Judith O’Higgins (tenor saxophone), Karen Sharp (baritone saxophone), Gareth Williams (piano), Adam King (double bass) & Sebastiaan de Krom (drums)

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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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