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Bebop Spoken There

Jim Hall: "Won't play loud, can't play fast" - (From one of the great guitarist's business cards brought to our attention by Roly Veitch).

Joel Harrison: “It’s incredibly hard to play bebop on guitar, harder than on saxophone.” – (Jazz Times August 2015)

Sir Thomas Beecham: "Forget about the bars. Look at the phrases, please. Remember that bars are only the boxes in which the music is packed" - (Beecham Stories by Harold Atkins & Archie Newman. Robson Books, 1978).

Today Wednesday June 28

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.
Chris Sharkey Trio - Jazz Café. 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. £5/Students free - voluntary donation.
Levee Ramblers NOJB - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Road, Springwell, Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:30pm. £3.00.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Seamus Blake Trio @ Black Swan Arts Centre. February 7

Seamus Blake (tenor); Ross Stanley (Hammond); James Maddren  (drums).
(Review by Lance/Photo courtesy of Ken Drew).
You like modern jazz? You bemoan the passing of the days when the great American jazzers used to fill the Corner House? You thought those days had gone?
Tonight, happy days were here again in the form of Canadian-born New Yorker,  tenor saxist Seamus Blake and his British cohorts Stanley and Maddren.
I got there early, not wanting to be perched in a corner behind a pillar.
"Hello Lance [Launce]" said JNE supremo PB. "First one".
As it was only 15 mins to the advertised kick-off I began to wonder...
Kick-off turned out to be 8:30 by which time there were enough souls in the Black Swan to resemble an audience.
Numbers aside, this was one great gig. Steve T reviewed the band at Southport Jazz Festival last weekend - I think he liked it but to use the band's announcement that the next number was The Beach Boys' God Only Knows as an excuse to go to the bar seemed strange - to me it was one of the most lyrical examples of ballad playing on a pop song that I've heard in recent years. Even the middle where Seamus was blowing a whole gang of notes a minute he still sounded lyrical. Steve, you should have hung back for that extra pint - I did.
Hard bop, Blue Note style modern, classic Coltrane/Shorter, this was the kind of tenor playing that nails it for me. Sure, there were a few abstract moments but not enough to hurt. Willow Weep For Me and a semi-'60s rock rhythm may, on the surface, seem like strange bedfellows but it worked beautifully, Blake's gutsy tenor solo should have been acknowledged with hoots and hollers of approval rather than the polite applause it received.
Stanley, cooking on those good old favourite appliances - Hammond and Leslie -  served up the ingredients a frontman needs. And, unlike some of his recent gigs, he used the pedals to full advantage.
If Stanley lit the fire then Maddren stirred it, he shook it, he juiced it, he goosed it, he unlocked it, and, if he'd have been a vicar, he'd have defrocked it!  Well, he ain't a vicar but, now that Seaman and co have left us and Kinsey probably wouldn't fancy the train journey up to Newcastle, Maddren's the high priest!
I have to say that I'm amazed that those who dig this brand of jazz weren't there.
I've got you guys on the list - your names will be published unless you can provide a sick note or a letter from your parents/children that you were in bed listening to Sonny Rollins or maybe ...
Lance.

6 comments :

  1. James Maddren the best British jazz drummer on the scene today in my humble opinion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What do you think of Pete Cater? I think he is also good too, he plays more in big bands probably, i mean compare to you, I'm just talking from my limited prospective.

      Delete
    2. James Maddren plays many styles from big band to progressive odd time material . He nails the lot a complete drummer and still a young man brilliant.

      Delete
  2. You know my views on sacred cows and, as Bill Bruford said when he thought he'd joined a Jazz group but found himself in a group of people who like the Beach Boys - the Beach Boys?

    ReplyDelete
  3. No cows are sacred otherwise we'd all be vegetarians. One of the beauties of jazz is the musician's ability to work on the most unlikely material. I like to see musicians working on pop songs as opposed to their 'originals' which rarely are. The greats played the pop music of their day so why shouldn't later generations delve into the pops of their time?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Beach Boys need neither the money nor the publicity. There are thousands of better records by better artists that don't get a look in cos they don't have a gimmick or an image to get them noticed by the clowns who run the media. Not something artists needed to concern themselves with before the huge explosion of television ownership in America in the fifties and over here in the sixties.
    I'm all for artists stealing songs and melodies - the classical people did it with folk all the time and pop music is just world folk - but I think they should be a tad more imaginative. Bad Plus pick some really unusual stuff and do wonders with some real turkeys.

    ReplyDelete

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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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