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Number 22 in World Jazz Blog Rankings

Number 22 in World Jazz Blog Rankings

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 Saturday April 29

Afternoon

1pm: Dean Stockdale Trio. 2:30pm: Abbie Finn Quartet 4pm: Rick Laughlin Trio - Quakerhouse, Mechanics’ Yard, Darlington DL3 7QF. 01325 245052. 1:00-5:00pm. Free (donations).

Evening

Dave O’Higgins with Durham Alumni Big Band - Majestic Theatre, Bondgate, Darlington DL3 7JT. Support set by Durham County Youth Big Band (7:15pm). £12.00. (+ concs).

Late night jam session - Quakerhouse, Mechanics’ Yard, Darlington DL3 7QF. 01325 245052.10:30pm. Free.

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Ruby Turner - Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm. £21.00. & £20.00.

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Fever & Friends - Customs House, Mill Dam, South Shields NE333 3NG. 7:30pm. £12.00. 0191 454234.

Bradley Johnston (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 7:30pm. No cover charge.

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

Friday, April 14, 2017

Emma Fisk and Paul Edis @ The Witham, Barnard Castle - April 12

Emma Fisk (violin) and Paul Edis (piano).
(Review/photos by Jerry)
A sign above the stage appeared to say “A DISCO”. Really? I adjusted my bifocals and found it was a date stone reading “AD1860” – when The Witham opened as a music hall – which is interesting as its Victorian / Edwardian heyday coincided with many of the performers and composers referenced in Emma Fisk’s fascinating introductions and links between the twenty pieces of music thoughtfully selected and brilliantly performed tonight. Might tangos on the set-list have been performed on that stage back then? That’s a connection which would appeal to Emma, I think.
I don’t remember Nuages (Grappelli and Reinhardt’s “reunion” recording after WW2) from the duo’s gig in 2016, so will start with that even though it was in the second set. There was good applause (not always easy to elicit from a crowd which was not unappreciative but a tad “polite”!) for a “trilling” piano solo and for the improbably high note which capped Emma Fisk’s ornate finish – some kind of high F?
Next up, beautifully performed, was the catchy Hot Club number, Undecided, introduced with the story of the vocalist, Beryl Davis. She toured with Reinhardt and Grappelli from the age of about 14 (!) and went on, via Glenn Miller in WW2, to an amazing career which by rights should have made her a household name such as Ella Fitzgerald, for example. Inspired by this biographical snippet I found Undecided on YouTube and was blown away by both the singing and the lyrics. The clip was dated 1939 when Davis was 15! I am going into detail here because in 2016 I said that I “learnt stuff” at the concert in Crook and all the above exemplifies that. Such a carefully crafted show put together by a performer who feels almost evangelical about the material cannot fail to enthuse even the ignorant such as myself.
Also new to me was Pardon Me, Pretty Baby which, after a “florid, showy intro” was an infectiously catchy tune which probably explains it being covered by so many bands / vocalists, including Harold Arlen, no less! Edis’ piano solo here seemed to be more Joplin-esque than A la Luz de los Faroles where Joplin was mentioned earlier.
I think the “quirky tango” in 2016 from The Threepenny Opera (Brecht / Weill) might have been The Pimp’s Song here reprised after the contrasting Polly’s Song (new to me) which is more lyrical than quirky suggesting that Macheath’s wife, like Dickens’ Nancy, might have been a naïve romantic at heart.
16 other numbers featured classical, tango, gypsy jazz and show-tunes (all of which featured in 2016), all beautifully performed with the musicians, clearly in tune with the dynamics of each piece, interpreting and bringing it to life. The tunes hailed from Paris, London, New York, Buenos Aires, Berlin, Prague and Vienna with every decade from the 1880’s to the 1960’s represented. It was, (the Witham’s website publicity) “…a musical tour (de force) across continents, centuries and genres..” I was dead chuffed to realise that the website, there, was quoting from my October 2016 review on Bebop….! Fame at last!
Special mention, among those 16 tunes for Someone to Watch Over Me (my favourite on the night) and Lady Be Good, which Emma clearly loves to play.
And finally, The Witham is an imposing building with a fine auditorium and good acoustics. The staff were friendly and helpful and the technical side of things all went well. They are “trying to re-establish jazz” there (other genres flourish) so please check out future listings and support them if you can. Oh, and the beer was good too!
Jerry

3 comments :

  1. Surely you weren't imbibing Jerry. Now I'm really jealous. Had hoped to go - at about a dozen miles it's almost our local - but everybody's knackered, what with FDTs practice regime beginning at everyone else's bedtime - he's a Jazzer through and through.

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  2. Was able to imbibe (some) as I had a lift back with the pianist!

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  3. Beryl was a class singer who died in 2011 age 87. She did okay in America with records (I've got a couple of her CDs, one of which includes the 2 Django track) and appeared on tv with Sinatra. Her father, Harry Davis, was co-leader of the Oscar Rabin band who buried himself in the sax section whilst Oscar conducted and, of course, Beryl sang. No disrespect to Vera but...

    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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