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Bebop Spoken There

Buddy Rich: "You either swing a band or you don't swing a band - (Metronome April 1956).

Sinclair Traill: “Well I don't think he (Chet Baker) can sing either.” – (Jazz Journal August 1956).

Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to them all other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance

Today Thursday December 14

Afternoon
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., nr. Newcastle NE27 0DA. 1:00pm. Free.

Interim Recitals (Final Year Music Students) - Recital Room, Armstrong Building, Newcastle University NE1 7RU. Inc. Ben Richardson (jazz piano) 10:00am.

Evening.
Maine Street Jazzmen - Potter’s Wheel, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5EE. 8:30pm.

Indigo Jazz Voices - The Globe, 11 Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.00.

Durham University Big Band - Riverside Bar, Dunelm House, New Elvet, Durham DH1 3AN. 8:30pm (doors 8:00pm). Free admission. The band’s ‘Jazzy Christmas 5’.

Christmas Swing w Danny Reed - Customs House, Mill Dam, South Shields NE33 1ES. 7:00pm. £18.95.

Tees Hot Club w. Richie Emmerson (tenor); Dave Archibold (keys) - Dorman’s, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. 8:00pm. Free Xmas Party Night.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm.

WCEA Big Band - Whitburn Church of England Academy, Whitburn SR6 7EF. Tel: 0191 529 3712. 7:00-9:30pm. £4.00. (£10.00. family of three). Tickets must be purchased in advance by December 8th. ‘Christmas Swing-a-long’ to include school choir. Whitburn Academy competes regularly at the annual Great North Big Band Jazz Festival.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Jazz North East Fluid Orchestra - a 50 years celebration @ Newcastle Arts Centre - December 13

(Review by Lance/Photo courtesy of Ken Drew.)
Possibly the most ambitious project by any regional jazz organisation, Jazz North East's 50th-anniversary celebration attracted a goodly crowd to the Arts Centre for this performance by the Jazz North East 'Fluid' Orchestra - an ensemble specially formed to celebrate the occasion.
Jazz North East came into being in 1966 as the brainchild of the late Chris Yates and was the first grant supported jazz organisation in the UK.
Beginning with a concert by Earl Hines in the, now long gone, Connaught Hall JNE presented countless jazz greats at that venue and later at the Corner House. As the legendary names fell from the tree more contemporary bands and artists took over.
Tonight was to be a celebration of those 50 years.
Not 50 years of JNE music but 50 years of social happenings and events that occurred during that period as seen through the eyes of today's 12 jazz musicians and composers rounded up to form the Fluid orchestra. An apt title given the unique instrumentation and the transient nature of the music. Theremin, viola, voice, trumpet, reeds, vibes and rhythm.
The 1960s were represented by Graham Hardy's Brasillia of the North and inspired by T Dan Smith and John Poulson rather than Earl Hines and Coleman Hawkins. Graeme Wilson's sonorous baritone brought it in before dissonance took over. Mark Williams briefly restored sanity bringing a variety of soloists into the fray. Sometimes a lone voice, occasionally a duo, often a free for all. I guess this was depicting a council meeting of the day.
The 1970s, Smoke and Mirrors, a combined effort by Zoe and Andy covers the demise and disgrace of T Dan Smith, the winter of discontent (the last one), the  3 day week and my fave film - Get Carter. Zoe wails above the ensemble  - she's at the races - the Blaydon Races. The band chants Gannin' alang and there's solos from all and sundry.
The 1980s were portrayed by Corey Mwamba's Resilience Underground - striking miners, shipyard closures, the Metro and Kevin Keegan provided the inspiration.
Into the 1990s via James Mainwaring's Fog on the Tyne - not exactly Lindisfarne - lots of freedom for the soloists.
The noughties saw Faye MacCalman and Graeme Wilson bring to life photographs of Byker with Unfolding.
The Future, described as 'Improvisation by the Orchestra', brought the whole shebang to a close although, by this time, I was aboard the Metro.
This was probably the most intense gig I've ever been to and, in truth, way out of my comfort zone. The musicianship was unbelievably superb and chapeaux to JNE for setting it up. I'm sure those of my colleagues who stayed the course will add their own take on a memorable landmark in north-east jazz.
Lance.
Andy Champion (bass/bass guitar); Stephen Hanley (drums); Mark Williams (guitar); Johnny Richards (keys/electronics); Zoe Gilby (voice); Aby Vulliamy (viola); Corey Mwamba (vibes); Beatrix Ward-Fernandez (theremin); James Mainwaring, Faye MacCalman, Graeme Wilson (various reeds); Graham Hardy (trumpet/flugel).

5 comments :

Steve T said...

A once in a lifetime event which, as a relative newcomer to the North East live Jazz scene, I felt privileged to be a part of.
Not outside my comfort zone but somewhere in the outer reaches. Zoe pointing and swinging her arm around was a sight to behold and may have even inspired me - a total football philistine - to stand in the cold and rain of Sid James' Park for hours.
The Grahams, cool as ice, Mighty AC on top, underneath, in control. But it's unfair to single out anybody; without exception they were all amazing, and who knew the theremin was so versatile; for almost as long as Jazz North East has been in existence I assumed the spacey sounds of Hawkwind came from synthesizers, but now I'm not sure.
Although never boring, across what must have been about two hours of new and difficult music, the highlight for me was in the closing minutes of Fog on the Tyne with a real King Kong moment, and they could have stayed in that groove for a round of lengthy solos from me.
The Future seemed like a massive sigh of relief by everyone on the stage, starting off scrappy and directionless, it then proved the scientific theory that order always comes out of chaos; at least with twelve world class singer and musicians in tow (does Free Jazz prove or disprove this theory? Discuss!).
The order generally came as a result of drums and vibes which, writing as a non-musician, seems to me to make sense.
Zoe, Andy and Aby, getting extraordinary sounds from the viola, brought it to an impressive close but Corey wasn't having that, setting up a brilliant coda, his own laughter finally pulling down the curtain.
A few of us chatting afterwards observed that we wouldn't be there for the centenary, but were encouraged that plenty people present will, including the two Jamboning Early Birds who'll be the only ones under seventy, which should be middle-aged by then.
Big fat kudos to everyone involved.

Dave Clarke said...

I enjoyed every minute of the Fluid Orchestra concert, considering it an entirely worthy celebration of Jazz North East's 50th anniversary. I was delighted that you, Lance, attended and reviewed the gig despite your initial reservations but must make take issue with your statement that "Jazz North East came into being in 1966 as the brainchild of the late Chris Yates."

The last thing I want to do is underplay the enormous contribution which Chris made over many years to the organisation. A contribution which, as a fellow board member, I was in a good position to observe. But credit where it's due.

Chris did not join Jazz North East until 1973 and it was established in 1966 by Northern Arts, the predecessor to the Arts Council, with a voluntary committee consisting of Don Locke ( Chair), David Bell, (Treasurer), and Alan Smith (Secretary).

Even if that founding committee served for only two years the musicians they brought to Newcastle included Earl Hines, Ornette Coleman, Sonny Stitt, Clark Terry, Bob Brookmeyer, Johnny Griffin, Ben Webster and Roland Kirk. Quite a foundation for their successors, including Chris, to build on.

Lance said...

I stand corrected! And, as one who attended an inaugural meeting with the above founding committee members, my memory should have stood me in better stead. I suppose that, because it was some years later when I actually joined the committee with Margaret, Alex, Randy and Chris etc. that I overlooked what had gone before. My apologies to all concerned and thank you Dave for reminding me that I'm getting old and my memory is fading...

Steve T said...

I'm in my mid fifties and my memory's shot; that'll teach me.
Sonny Stitt, Ben Webster and Roland Kirk? Sh!t!

martinrp said...

As usual with weekday gigs this was a no-go for me, living near Carlisle. I did, however, get to the open rehearsal at the Bridge the previous Sunday and could tell that this was going to be something special. Hope it isn't their last outing.

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About this blog - contact details.

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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