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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)

Today Tuesday June 27

Evening
CANCELLED! Atlas - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:15pm. £10/£8 (conc.). JNE 'Women Make Music'.
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Charles Gordon (solo piano) - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Newcastle. 10pm - midnight. Free.
Maine Street Jazzmen - British Legion Club, West Jesmond Ave., Newcastle NE2 3EX. 8:30pm. £5.
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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 07, 2017

GIJF Day 3:: Jazz Africa/Jazz Cuba @ Sage Gateshead , April 2.

(Review by Steve T)
It's always nice to do at least one gig in Sage One, over the weekend, to see those who maybe only do one show,  but make the whole thing happen. Otherwise you feel insular, like the only people there are the familiar faces in the small rooms, at the concourse and the stands. 
This was the other no-brainer, along with Miles Mosley, until number one son introduced some brains suggesting we should be in Hall Two, and then Lance (who tends to know what he's doing in these matters) confirmed he was in Northern Rock. Sounds like a resounding finale for the Festival.
By Sunday evening, anybody still wondering whether they'd had a festival was left in no doubt by the end of this; this was almost a festival on its own. 
Lots to get through so Shabaka Hutchings was already onstage when I got in, complete with his Ancestors.  
Drums and percussion, rock solid and relentless, as always in these groups, brilliant sax from both tenor and alto, bass and a Hoodoo type Man, presumably Shabaka, dressed all in black, hat rim casting a shadow over his face, prowling the stage preaching, hollering and occasionally singing.
Short break before the Alfredo Rodriquez Trio took to the stage, the bandleader hitting it running, leaving no doubt he's a world class pianist. Afterwards I found myself stood with two Jambone/Early Birds keyboardists and asked whether they were going home to practice or put their instruments on ebay.
 The bass player was more enigmatic, in a splendid frock, large earrings and what looked (to someone of my age and background) like a type of hairnet. It was only when he came out of the shadows he revealed a full beard; the kind of look the media keep telling us wouldn't have been possible without Bowie. He could play too, taking the lead part on occasion - Steve Howe like - with a fixed, standalone member of the guitar family. As you'd expect, the drummer was safe too. One of the stage hands made himself the second least popular person in the building telling him to cut the set (or slit his throat). To the delight of the audience, he ignored him and played one more anyway.

Last up was Richard Bona, or as he liked to say - Michael Jackson, with his Mandekan Cubano. Another musician who could have been a stand-up comic, he had the audience laughing in the aisles. His singing was quite low-key until it required some passion when a soulful quality emerged, but was at its best in the African style of Youssou N'Dour, Salif Keita or Papa Wemba, particularly when acapella.
The band, or as he called them, the Cubans - who know how to take breaks, he told us, as they left the stage to take one - were hot, once again rock-solid percussion, piano and just two horns, doubling up on backing vocals Buena Vista Social Club style. His bass playing was restrained but with enough hints he could really go when required.
By the end we were all up 'dancing' in the aisles, at our seats, where we stood, bringing the whole thing to a glorious close. A triumph I heard somebody say to Ros Rigby as we filed out, and who knows whether he meant the gig, the night, the day or the festival, but I wasn't about to argue one way or another.
Steve T.

2 comments :

  1. Shabaka is, quite notably, a Saxophonist.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Actually, Shabaka is the tenor player.

    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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