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Bebop Spoken There

John Tynan: "Go ahead, call me reactionary. I happen to object to the musical nonsense being peddled in the name of jazz by John Coltrane and his acolyte Eric Dolphy." - (Downbeat November 22, 1961).

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McCoy Tyner: "If anyone want to know how the three of us - Elvin, Jimmy and me - felt about John [Coltrane], listen to the music and you can hear the love and respect we had for each other. The music can really speak more than any of us." - (Melody Maker, August 19, 1967).
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Today Tuesday April 25

Evening
Playtime Collective w. Martin Kershaw (alto); Graeme Stephen (guitar); Mario Caribe (bass); Tom Bancroft (drums). - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. £10/£8 (conc.). JNE/Schmazz.
Maine Street Jazzmen - Royal British Legion Club, West Jesmond Ave. Newcastle NE2 3EX. £5. 8:30pm.
Charles Gordon (solo piano) - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Newcastle. 10pm - midnight. Free.
Lickety Split - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham. 9:00pm. Free (bucket collection).
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Christmas at the Black Swan with the Strictly Smokin’ Big Band. Dec 16










(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Mike Tilley)
We Three Kings heralded a night of swinging big band jazz, and what a night! The first of two sold out nights, the dynamic Strictly Smokin’ Big Band dazzled from the off with the audience there to enjoy themselves. Power, precision, all sections firing, this was the way to open the show! Tenor men Paul Gowland and Jamie Toms introduced themselves, Pav Jedrzejewski similarly made his presence felt with the first of several fine guitar solos, as did multi-reeds virtuoso Steve Summers opening on alto.
Tyneside’s jazz fans look forward to these now annual nights at the Black Swan for many weeks if not months and they have yet to be disappointed. The band in sober lounge suits, vocalist Alice Grace looking sensational in a red evening gown, the first set started at the appointed hour, this is how to put on a show! Ms Grace’s fellow vocalist – F’reez – sang Moondance (sounding better than ever), followed by a duet with Alice on Baby, It’s Cold Outside. The audience loved it, the applause said it all. Alice has a high class pedigree… the National Youth Jazz Orchestra no less. She brought along a NYJO chart – Heat of the Moment – which went down a treat. F’reez delivered on Gambling Man Blues and Alice melted/broke hearts telling us My Heart Belongs to Daddy (featuring a three-flute intro).
 
Don’t Think Twice (comp B Dylan) featured Alice (Maggie Bell recorded a fine version) once more, then the band played some jazz – Benny Golson’s Whisper Not; Gowland on tenor, MD Michael Lamb on muted trumpet, a measured Toms (tenor) and more from the consistently good, no, make that excellent, Steve Summers. The first set closer – Grass is Greener – heard more from F’reez and Jedrzejewski, and the ensemble in wild abandon.
This being that time of year – Bah humbug time – the set list included plenty of seasonal tunes. Only a curmudgeon could take issue, and he – they’re always of the male variety – didn’t. Perhaps he wasn’t present, sitting at home, more like, the miserable so and so. As the Christmas classics came thick and fast, the applause kept pace; Joy to the World then Hark the Herald Angels Sing, the fabulous Alice singing Winter Wonderland, a birthday dedication to the forever young Sylvia with Alice singing I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm. Altoists Steve Summers and Keith Robinson fought it out on I’ve Got Christmas (fours, then twos) and Kieran Parnaby, trombone, pulled no punches on Little Drummer Boy, thus encouraging Pete Tanton to do likewise before bassist Michael Whent stepped forward, taking the rhythm section with him. Drummer Steve Wall, depping for regular sticksman Guy Swinton, did a grand job, on top of things all night, most impressive. No Christmas gig is complete without Santa Baby. Alice Grace (in a second set change of wardrobe) wowed the on-side crowd, and sure enough, an encore (two of them!) sent the full house on its way without a care in the world. The Strictly Smokin’ Big Band has a large, loyal following. You can join the party at Hoochie Coochie on December 29th.
Russell.
Michael Lamb, Pete Tanton, Gordon Marshall, Dick Stacey (trumpets); Kieran Parnaby, David Barnes, Tom Dowling, John Flood (trombones); Paul Gowland, Jamie Toms, Steve Summers, Keith Robinson, Laurie Rangecroft (reeds); Graham Don (piano); Pawel Jedrzejewski (guitar); Michael Whent (bass); Steve Wall (drums); Alice Grace (vocals) & F’reez (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: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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