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Bebop Spoken There

Vadim Neselovskyi, Professor of Jazz Piano, Berklee College of Music: “Every pianist has to deal with a very complex left-hand part at some point. This is the essential pianistic experience – to split your brain into two halves and execute two very different tasks at the same time.” – (Down Beat September 2017).

Roscoe Mitchell: “To me, improvisation is trying to improve your skills so you can make these on-point compositional decisions. That takes practice.” – (Down Beat September 2017)

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Today Tuesday September 26

Afternoon
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Black Bull, 98 Front St., East Boldon NE36 0SG. 1pm. Free. 0191 5365127. New residency 2 mins from East Boldon metro.
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Evening
Maine Street Jazzmen - Royal British Legion, West Jesmond Ave., Newcastle NE2 3EX. 8:30pm. £5.
Charles Gordon (solo piano) - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Newcastle. 10pm - midnight. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Emma Fisk & James Birkett @ Ushaw Jazz Festival 2017 - August 26

Emma Fisk (violin) & James Birkett (guitar)
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of John Cogan.)
Ushaw is at its best on a summer’s day. The house and grounds open to the public, the greenery, flowers in full bloom, what more could anyone ask? A jazz festival, that’s what! The ‘jazz lounge’, aka the Francis Thompson Room, with its numerous Chesterfields, potted plants, and bar counter groaning under the weight of sumptuous, tempting cakes, someone knew this Saturday afternoon that those leather sofas should be occupied well in advance of the one o’clock start of an eagerly awaited concert.
As one o’clock chimed across the Ushaw estate additional seating was squeezed into the Francis Thompson Room to accommodate a sold out audience there to hear Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang, aka Emma Fisk and James Birkett. Violinist Ms Fisk provided the commentary, placing in context tunes written and or played by Messrs Venuti and Lang. To the left of our virtuoso violinist, master guitarist Dr James Birkett. A potted history, tunes familiar and not so familiar, the brilliance of Fisk and Birkett shone brightly on this perfect summer’s day. Cheese and Crackers, I Can’t Give You Anything but Love, Sunshine (a Venuti-Lang composition, rec.1926), It’s Only a Paper Moon, just perfect. Kickin’ the Cat, first recorded as a quartet featuring Adrian Rollini in 1927, prompted Fisk the storyteller to share a tale or two about Venuti the practical joker. The European duo of Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli entered the picture with Coquette and Nuages delighting an on-side audience. I’m Confessin’ That I Love You, Black and Blue Bottom and Gershwin’s Someone to Watch over Me, there was no let up to a winning set list.

James Birkett’s guitar playing mesmerised throughout, and his own composition, Eddie’s Lament rightfully took its place in the pad. To close, a barnstorming Lady Be Good.       
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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