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Bebop Spoken There

Ben Pollack: "The kind of people who go for the old style New Orleans jazz are the same kind of people who go in for collecting antiques." - (Down Beat May 5, 1950).

Flip Phillips: "I heard this band out in California. I think - Lu Waters, isn't it? They sure can march down the street but I wouldn't want to march with them!" - (Down Beat June 15, 1951).

Today Sunday June 25

Afternoon.
Joel Byrne McCullough (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 12:30pm. Free.
Mitch Laddie Band - Tyne Bar, Maling St., Newcastle. 3pm. Free.
Blues @ The Bay - Tanner Smith's 17-19 South Parade, Whitley Bay NE26 2RE, 0191 2525941. 4pm. Free. Blues jam w. Scott Wall & Charlie Philp.
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Musicians Unlimited - Park Hotel, Park Rd., Hartlepool TS26 9HU. 01249 233126.1pm. Free.
Somethin' Blue - Vesuvio, 3a Houndgate, Darlington DL1 5RL. 01325 788564. 5pm. Weekly.
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Tyne Valley Big Band - Herding Hill Farm, Shield Hill, Haltwhistle NE49 9NW. 2pm. Support from Tyne Valley Youth Jazz Ensemble. 01434 320175.
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Evening
Jake Steels Quintet - Quakerhouse, Mechanics' Yard, Darlington DL3 7QF. 6pm.
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Hokum Hotshots-- Billy Bootleggers - 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Faye MacCalman/John Pope Duo @ Jazz Café - April 14

Faye MacCalman (tenor sax, clarinet), John Pope (bass).
(Review/photo courtesy of Steve T).
Of all the Jazz Cafés in all the world, I wonder how many featured a double bass, sometimes bowed, and a tenor sax, sometimes a clarinet, playing Blakey, Shorter, Ornette Coleman Hawkins - see what I did there? MacCalman, Monk, Roland Kirk, Sonny Rollins and Sun Ra - see what I did there? - on Friday. And by a lady in her early/mid-twenties and a 'slightly' older male. This is why Jazz is so unique.
We expected more pedals than the Tour de France, more loops than a primary school playground and more freefall than a Bridge too far. What we got was certainly edgy, but in a very different way. Only Jazz can defy expectations in this way. 
I'd wondered how it would work out, without percussion, a keyboard or even a guitar, but half way through the opener, Moanin, I knew it was going to be just fine.
Faye is a raspy, breathy player with a classic tenor sound all the way from Pres and Webster, through Dexter and Sonny to Trane and Wayne, a mischievous hint of Ornette and Roland lingering never far beneath the surface.
Pope is one of the very best and most exploratory bass players around, whether acoustic or electric, though he stayed upright here, some subtle slapping giving a bit of percussive affect.
JuJu, Body and Soul, Ornette and Archipelago reflecting some of their other shared ventures. Monks Dream, Roland Kirk and Sun Ra, fairly 'out there' in their own right but here used as springboards, sometimes barely recognisable, for their own improvisations and innovations. Always on that tightrope, that knife edge between success and failure, the site of much great art, and if at times they seemed to flounder - what the long suffering/eternally skint Mrs T calls Jazz - one or other was never far away with a means of resolution. 
They shared the announcements conversationally, Faye personable and human and expect her to grow into this role as she increasingly becomes a regular fixture at the Caff and beyond, Pope the seasoned pro and mentor.
At one point half way through set two, it felt like Trane and Garrison during that vital moment between relatively straight Jazz and the warp factor launch into hyperspace, and I can give no higher praise than that.
With big names at the O2 Arena and City Hall, and hundreds passing after something up the road at Sid James' Park, the faithful sat silently around the duo with comers and goers noisy around the corner, but not to the point of distraction. A highly enjoyable evening and I'm now very much looking forward to something very different from them round the corner at the Swan on 30th May.
Steve T.

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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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