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Bebop Spoken There

Ernie Wilkins: “If you don't look at the liner notes, you don't know who in the hell it is. Everybody sounds alike, that same million-note approach. Faceless.” – (Crescendo November 1975).

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Ben Williams: “A lot of jazz today has developed this allergy to simplicity. ‘If it’s simple, that means it’s not hip’ is a theme. But sometimes the simplest thing you can do is the hippest thing you can do.” – (Down Beat August 2015).

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Archives.

Today Wednesday March 22

Afternoon.
Vieux Carre Jazzmen - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. £1. 8pm.
Paul Skerritt Band - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 7:30pm. No cover charge.
Levee Ramblers NOJB - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Road, Springwell, Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:30pm. £3.00.
John Harle and Steve Lodder - Royal Grammar School, Eskdale Tce., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 4DX. 7pm. £20 & £10. 60th birthday tour for RGS alumnus Harl.
Chris Sharkey Trio - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. £4.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Square One @ Durham Ushaw Jazz Festival - August 28


Peter Johnstone (piano), Joe Williamson (guitar), David Bowden (bass guitar) & Stephen Henderson (drums)
(Review by Steve T/Photos courtesy of Gordon Carlton)
With FDT and the Lawrence brothers behind, and Ben now ‘out’ as an aspiring Jazz keyboardist, I imagined that, with Whiplash, this could be them in a few years.
Circumstances beyond their control meant they played the theatre rather than the lounge which the just over thirty would have comfortably filled. No matter, the theatre is such a splendid room it still looked okay and, if you choose Jazz as a profession, you have to get used to empty seats.
Five impressive originals: two from bassist David Bowden, and one each from guitarist Joe Williamson, keyboardist Peter Johnson and Drummer Stephen Henderson.
Immediate comparisons are the classic Jazz Rock bands and the more instrumental progressive rock bands but with far less bombast. Effective changes in tempo and juxtaposition between quieter moments and moments of real power, with some fantastic building to get from one to the other, and a couple of classical oriented interludes on piano reflecting the pianists own continuing musical education in classical piano.
The final piece was Puppet Love, which was more obviously rocky, with riffs and things before settling into a funk groove, Bowden on bass as successful as any of his contemporaries on the solid body guitar variety of his instrument more widely associated with funk.
They declined the invitation to play an encore, leaving us to buy their current EP (with an album forthcoming) to hear more from them and myself, Ben Lawrence and others duly did.
They’re all Glasgow alumni and are solid musicians with none obviously stronger or weaker than the rest. With two Scottish natives and a Londoner I spoke to Darlo lad Joe Williamson to alleviate any potential language barrier.
Unsurprisingly, his major guitar influences are Mike Walker (currently an Impossible Gentleman), John Schofield and Pat Metheny, in that order, as well as the blues. The centrality of melody comes in large part from folk music and particularly from drummer Henderson, with Steely Dan and Oz Noy their major influences in this regard.  
We wish this young band every success in the future and hope to see them back in the North East soon.
More housekeeping tasks to take care of so I only caught a few bursts of the New Century Ragtime Orchestra. Not really my thing but I spoke to loads of people afterwards who thought they were terrific, leader Steve Andrews even rivalling Alan Barnes in the joke stakes.
Steve T

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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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