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Bebop Spoken There

Howard Riley: “When I started out playing jazz back in the late 50s, early 60s, if you wanted a gig you had to learn some standards.” – (Jazz Journal April 2017)

Eric Harland: “I love swing and I’m always going to swing but I also know that you can take a hip-hop groove and improvise with that just like you would with a swing pattern.” – (Jazz Journal April 2017)

Today Wednesday April 26

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.
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.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester le Street. March 3

(Review by Russell/Photo on left from Facebook. Credit will be given when known. Other two by Russell).
The fourteenth edition of the Great North Big Band Jazz Festival relocated to a new venue in the County Durham town of Chester le Street. Since its inception, this annual event in the British big band calendar has been staged in Sunderland on the banks of the Wear. Major redevelopments are continuing apace to transform the heart of the city of Sunderland into a vibrant, progressive place to live, work and study. The University of Sunderland continues to give unstinting support to the jazz community, thus ensuring this indispensable event retains its place on the region’s wider cultural map.
For the first time Park View Community Centre welcomed musicians, organisers and audience to the multi-purpose facility located just off Front Street in an historic part of town, little more than a well-struck six from Durham County Cricket Club. Free on-site parking. Food and drink available and space to accommodate something like twenty-nine bands over three days made this an ideal alternative to Sunderland’s North Shore venue.
A change of venue a necessity, the long weekend’s format remains as before. A Festival Big Band and a guest band – this year Mick Donnelly’s Musicians Unlimited – opened proceedings on a wet Friday evening. Big band fans weren’t to be deterred by a disappointing forecast, turning out in encouraging numbers for this annual curtain raiser. 
The Festival Band is a hand-picked outfit. The many familiar faces in the sections sat, or stood, alongside rising stars of the music. Bill Watson is the man responsible for coaching an on-campus student big band throughout the academic year at Sunderland University in addition to being the busy director of the Great North Big Band Festival. A first-night festival concert in which he participates is, perhaps, his reward. Playing both trumpet and flugelhorn, before turning his thoughts once more to the forthcoming two days of non-stop big band competition is, surely, a form of relaxation! Mick Donnelly (a competition adjudicator) made a guest appearance with the band, playing his usual commanding tenor saxophone. County Durham Music Service has an enviable track record nurturing talent, and one of its recent success stories – Alice Buhaenko – on a short break from her studies at Oxford University, presented the band with a new composition to play and to occupy the piano chair on the evening.
Musicians Unlimited is the pride and joy of Hartlepool. An institution, Mick Donnelly’s big band is something like two decades young. If it’s one o’clock on a Sunday you’re likely as not sitting in the Park Inn listening to the band. Occasionally Donnelly and his band ventures further afield to play a concert to new ears in new surroundings. Park View Community Centre was hearing the band for the first time. America’s Jim Martin featured in the pad as arranger and composer, an arrangement by the late Dave Connolly of Georgia featured veteran late-night saloon bar king Bob Caswell, and that mere whipper-snapper of a rat packer Paul Skerritt gave Wonderwall both barrels. Musicians Unlimited breeds trumpet players – Kevin Eland and Tom Hill but two of them. They had a blast, as did the reeds – Sue Ferris excelling on flute. The engine room lads (Mick Shoulder, bass, and Tom Chapman, drums) worked up a head of steam. Sister Sadie, Gordon Goodwin’s Count Bubba, the opening night of the 2017 Great North Big Band Jazz Festival an hors d’oeuvre of things to come.   
Russell            
Musicians Unlimited: Mick Donnelly (MD/tenor); Alan Catherall, Bob Temple, Tom Hill, Kevin Eland, Bill Watson (trumpets); Dave Brock, John Day, Helen Grainger, Peter Morgan (trombones); Jill Nelson, Kim Webb, Mark Toomey, John Hudson, Sue Ferris (reeds); ? (piano); Mick Shoulder (bass); Tom Chapman (drums); Bob Caswell, Paul Skerritt (vocals).     

1 comment :

  1. The unidentified photographer is me!

    ReplyDelete

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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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