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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, June 14, 2017

A Night of Swing @ Newcastle University - June 13

(Review by Russell)
King’s Hall hosted the jazz evening of this year’s Newcastle University Summer Music Festival. The week-long, end of term, mid-summer jamboree celebrates a year of student music making encompassing classical, folk, new music, and, tonight’s offering, jazz. Charles Philp, this year’s festival ‘chair’ and erstwhile occasional participant at the Jazz Café’s top flight jam session, has knocked into shape the 2016-2017 edition of the Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra. Guitarist Philp left his instrument in its case as he took to the stage to conduct the band for the last time.
Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra can proudly boast that it is the only big band to have taken part in the Great North Big Band Jazz Festival every year since its inception. Indeed, the band’s debut appearance was a winning one. 2017’s line-up included no fewer than seven saxophones (five of them altos!), just three trumpets and three trombones and a beefed-up rhythm section as Nick Loughlin (guitar) joined the engine room boys. A familiar face or two – the principle soloists within their sections – shone; trumpeter Joe Davies has made his mark at the Jazz Café’s twice-monthly hot-shot jam session and County Durham Youth Big Band trombone star Tom McDonald.

The evening’s performance was streamed live on Facebook. The King’s Hall’s acoustics don’t do much for a big band, nevertheless, Philp’s outfit pressed the pedal to the floor determined to sign off in style. From A Train to The Jazz Police, the first set rattled along. Splanky was Basie-ish as Neal Hefti intended, and soon-to-graduate Becky Wilson’s clarinet struggled to make itself heard above the orchestra on Moonlight Serenade. Bassist Ifede Osiyemi stepped out front to sing a few numbers (guitarist Loughlin filling in on bass). His voice projecting to the gallery, Osiyemi engaged with the audience particularly on Straighten Up and Fly Right. A talented young man, let’s hear him jamming on Pink Lane.  

MD Charlie Philp put his heart and soul into this farewell performance. He and several of his fellow students are moving on. The sections met with Philp’s approval and the orchestra’s three featured soloists – trumpeter Joe Davies, trombonist Tom McDonald, and Sarah Appleby playing tenor – did all, and more, that was required of them. Philp bounced around to the Manteca beat, and again on Flight of the Foo Birds. Sitting at a Steinway, pianist George Simon played with great enthusiasm – another talent sure to be made welcome at a jam session, likewise the more than competent Harry Still behind the traps. On this evidence, next term’s Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra could be a contender for honours at the 2018 GNBBJF.                                        

Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra: Charles Philp, MD; reeds Becky Wilson (alto & clarinet), Chloe Nash (alto), Esther Coombes (alto), Michael Oates (alto), Sam Fox (alto), Sarah Appleby (tenor & flute), Cristina Rodriguez-Booth (baritone); trumpets Joe Davies, Simon Hirst, Becca Twist; trombones Thomas McDonald, Tim Rodaway, Alex Utting; Dome Hukhoi (guitar), Nick Loughlin (guitar), George Simons (piano), Ifede Osiyemi (bass & vocals) & Harry Still (drums)

Earlier in the evening, three musicians paid homage to Django Reinhardt. The Northern Trio, a trio new to Bebop Spoken Here, played acoustically for about half an hour. Two guitarists, one violinist, Gauloises (imaginary), berets (similarly of the imagination), Charlie, Clémênt and Gabriel made an impression. Their names wouldn’t be out of place in Montparnasse.      

A Night of Swing said the programme notes. The young Hot Clubbers got stuck in. Charlie Gordon and Clément Lemêtre (yes, he’s from Paris!) exchanged solos and complimented one another with regulation rhythm accompaniment. Grappelli –aka Gabriel May – sat between the two and all three musicians took a little while to relax into their performance. Grouped tightly together in the vast hall audience ears were cocked to hear the intimate musical conversation of the Manouche Three. The choice of material was regulation stuff; All of Me, Sheik of Araby, Coquette, all performed with care and due reverence. A Night of Swing, small group and big band. Philp and co put on a great show.      
The Northern Trio: Charlie Gordon (guitar), Clément Lemêtre (guitar) & Gabriel May (violin).   
Russell.

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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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