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Bebop Spoken There

Jeff Lindberg: "You can have innovative new music and you can play music of the masters. They're not going to cancel each other out" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Sunday May 26

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. Free.

Musicians Unlimited - Park Inn, Park Road, Hartlepool TS26 9HU. Tel: 01429 233126. 1:00pm (doors 12 noon). Free.

More Jam - The Globe, Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 3:00pm. Free.

Jazz Social - Charts, Quayside, Newcastle NE1 3DX. Tel: 0191 338 7989. 4:00pm. Free. Jam session with house trio.

Northern Monkey Brass Band - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 11:30am (street set) & 1:00pm stage set. Whitley Bay Carnival.

Somethin' Blue - Vesuvio, Houndgate, Darlington DL1 5RL. Tel: 01325 788564. 5:00-7:00pm. Free.

Geordie Jazz Man - The Exchange, Howard Street, North Shields NE30 1SE. Tel: 0191 258 4111. 5:30pm. £10.00. Screening of Abbie Lewis’ documentary film about Keith Crombie & the Jazz Café.

Gavin Lee: Reg Wall's New Orleans Ragtime Band - Shotton Colliery Officials Club, Shotton Colliery DH6 2JS. 5:30pm.

Blues

King Snake - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 3:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Back to Basics - Quakerhouse, Mechanics' Yard, Darlington DL3 7QF. Tel: 01325 245052. 6:15pm. Free. Set lists available, for details Facebook Darlington Jazz Club.

Federica Michisanti’s Trioness - Bridge Hotel, Castle Garth, Newcastle NE1 1RQ. Tel: 0191 260 3246. 8:15pm. £10.00 (£8.00 conc.). JNE.

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

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

CD Review: Wendy Kirkland Quartet - Piano Divas

Wendy Kirkland (piano/vocals); Pat Sprakes (guitar); Paul Jefferies (bass); Steve Smith (drums) + Gary Grace (vocal on 1 track).
(Review by Lance).
Pianist/singer Kirkland and her henchmen came up with the idea of putting together a show based on the work of the various great pianist/singers such as Krall, Simone, Blossom, Horn, Elias and others. In the years to come, some other pianist may repeat the exercise the only difference being that whoever does it will have added Wendy Kirkland to the list - she's that good!
The Chesterfield - two CDs in a row from the Peak District! Must be something in the Derbyshire air!* - chanteuse opens with Come Dance With Me. From bar one I sensed that this lady was something special and when I heard the piano solo my suspicions were confirmed.
Class!

Bahia, not the Coltrane composition, but an original co-written with guitarist and husband Sprake, has a jaunty Caribbean rhythm to it that makes you want to dance or order a Caipirinha.
Slow Boat to China - what a great [Frank Loesser] song and what a great version with just enough scatting to avoid overkill.
Some Other Time - an emotional vocal with some lovely guitar interpolations and, of course, piano played to perfection.
Hank Williams' Hey Good Lookin' might not have been Americana material as played here but the guitar and piano fours would have cut it at the Jazz Festival.
Not only is it unusual to hear It's Not Unusual played as a slow bossa but it's even more unusual to hear Jobim's Agua de Beber played as the intro. On the basis that Tom Jones got a knighthood out of It's Not Unusual then Wendy should receive a Damehood - now that would be unusual!
Ben Sidran's Be Nice [to the people on the way up - you're going to meet them on the way back down] great lyric over a familiar sequence. Again, Dame Wendy sings delightfully and with a wry sense of humour and some sparkling piano.
Samba Chica has us returning to Brazil for another Kirkland original. A wordless vocal and some killer guitar - time for another Caipirinha.
Bobby McFerrin's Don't Worry Be Happy - a vocal duet between Kirkland and guest singer Gary Grace with some patter and quotes from other songs. Nice bass solo and more wordless moments of magic. 
Cheek to Cheek, basically a swinger but with several tempo changes that work well. Great piano solo that's matched by Sprakes guitar chorus.
My Baby Just Cares For Me: Sprakes great guitar chorus is matched by Kirkwood's piano solo - honours even.
Meet Me Midnight: Barry Manilow's take on Ja-Da (or Doxy) is a great song and these four don't do it any harm at all.
The Quartet have been touring the show around jazz clubs, festivals and other venues and are keen to keep it on the road. This round of gigs has certainly honed it to perfection as witnessed by the album. Maybe a trip further north sometime...
Alan Barnes and Roger Beaujolais have praised it in very positive terms but perhaps we should let Jim Mullen have the last word - 
Wendy is proof that great musicians are alive and kicking all around the UK and that they don't have to be products of our music colleges to create high quality, entertaining music.
I'll raise a glass of Caipirinha to that!
Lance.
*Gavin Barras lives in Glossop.

1 comment :

JazzKitten said...

Thank you Lance! I'm so pleased you enjoyed our album. Wendy x

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