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Bebop Spoken There

Ben Pollack: "The kind of people who go for the old style New Orleans jazz are the same kind of people who go in for collecting antiques." - (Down Beat May 5, 1950).

Flip Phillips: "I heard this band out in California. I think - Lu Waters, isn't it? They sure can march down the street but I wouldn't want to march with them!" - (Down Beat June 15, 1951).

Today Sunday June 25

Afternoon.
Joel Byrne McCullough (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 12:30pm. Free.
Mitch Laddie Band - Tyne Bar, Maling St., Newcastle. 3pm. Free.
Blues @ The Bay - Tanner Smith's 17-19 South Parade, Whitley Bay NE26 2RE, 0191 2525941. 4pm. Free. Blues jam w. Scott Wall & Charlie Philp.
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Musicians Unlimited - Park Hotel, Park Rd., Hartlepool TS26 9HU. 01249 233126.1pm. Free.
Somethin' Blue - Vesuvio, 3a Houndgate, Darlington DL1 5RL. 01325 788564. 5pm. Weekly.
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Tyne Valley Big Band - Herding Hill Farm, Shield Hill, Haltwhistle NE49 9NW. 2pm. Support from Tyne Valley Youth Jazz Ensemble. 01434 320175.
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Evening
Jake Steels Quintet - Quakerhouse, Mechanics' Yard, Darlington DL3 7QF. 6pm.
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Hokum Hotshots-- Billy Bootleggers - 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Alter Ego @ Empty Shop, Durham - December 1

Keith Robinson (alto), Niall Armstrong (tenor, flute), Dave Hignott (trumpet, flugelhorn), Andy Hawking (keys), Tony Abell (bass), David Francis (drums).
(Review by Steve T)
In an attempt to keep the wife from the door, that's the exit, and with so much going on over the next three weeks, I decided to make this gig one [set] only. I thought musicians/promoters gave our bank accounts a break in December! 
I wasn't sure if I'd seen this band before and I'm still not; maybe I saw them under another name. I'll get my coat.
With natives of places like Blyth and wildest Northumberland on stage, I felt like a Teessider in need of a translator. This linguistic problem was remedied by a set list handed over in the interval. Beauty became Budini, Don't Leave Paris became Dog Leap Bounce. Thereafter I seemed to get the hang of it.  
The rhythm section were solid, the keyboardist slipping seamlessly between a Fender Rhodes electric sound and something close to acoustic piano. No over-indulgence whatsoever from bass and drums, the former taking three solos in the first set alone but with no padding, no needless flash, each solo serving the melody and the piece.
Some Latin, some funk, three first set originals from Niall and you couldn't separate them from originals by McCoy Tyner (Blues on the Corner), Neil Larson (Sudden Samba) and Kenny Garrett (Computer G).
The horns were a revelation, a background in Big Bands a given but I was amazed to find they didn't feature routinely in the same Big Band. The solos, counterpoint and harmonising were all great, the remaining two coming in behind the soloist to give an extra lift. During Niall’s Mustard Mash all three riffed behind the piano solo taking it even higher.

Not quite full to capacity, but cracking thirty by the break, meant a bit more space for the people there. No reflection on the band whatsoever. I'd forgotten how grateful the Empty Shop regulars are, beaming smiles like they can't believe they've landed in a city which has this. A cold night in that 'calm before the storm' period, though your co-host Alison thinks it is Christmas every day, at least in December. Clearly lots going on around the Uni too, with some dressed like Bruce Wayne at a society event and others like his alter ego. I'll get that coat.

Is it still the coolest regular Jazz night in the region? You need to check it out and make your own mind up, but you may need to get there early or you might find yourself listening with the smokers outside the Fighting Cocks, where you'll need a coat, and maybe even someone with a cape.
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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