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Bebop Spoken There

Nate Smith: "Record labels, booking agents, management, still can't imagine the drummer as bandleader" - (DownBeat January 2019).

Today Friday December 14

Afternoon

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free. Xmas party with Gavin Lee added to line-up.

Swing Manouche - Bishop Auckland Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. Tel: 03000 269 524. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Evening

Boys of Brass - George Washington Hotel, Stone Cellar Road, High Heworth, Washington NE37 1PH. Tel: 0191 402 9988. 7:00pm. Xmas party night.

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regents Farm Road, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 284 3700. 8:00pm. £12.00. + bf. First night of two.

Danny Reed - Customs House, Mill Dam, South Shields NE33 1ES. Tel: 0191 454 1234. 7:00pm. £19.95. Xmas swing with Danny Reed.

Classic Swing - Gateshead Fell Cricket Club, Eastwood Gardens, Low Fell NE9 5UB. Tel: 0191 420 0160. 8:00pm. £5.00.

Mike Sanchez & the Portions + Groove-a-matics - The Forum Music Centre, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 363135. 7:30pm. £18.00.

Will Howard Trio - Traveller’s Rest, West Auckland Road, Cockerton, Darlington DL3 9ER. Tel: 01642 468177. 8:30pm. £10.00.

Swamp Hoppers - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

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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