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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)

Archives

Today Saturday September 23

Scarborough Jazz Festival - Day two of three.
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Evening
Bradley Johnston (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2AE. 7:30pm. No cover charge.
Rockafellas - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
Tobie Carpenter Organ Trio - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm. £10.
Thin Man + Jon Gordon - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm. Free.
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Nikki Iles & Stan Sulzmann - Great Hall, Hexham Abbey, Hexham NE46 3NB. 10pm. £10/£8.
Pat McMahon Trio - Tannery, Gilesgate, Hexham NE46 3QD. 01434 605537. 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.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Alan Glen Trio @ The Fox Inn - September 5

Alan Glen (piano), John Pope (double bass) & Paul Wight (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Hexham Jazz Club at the Fox Inn. The kind of jazz gig that shouldn’t work but it does. A one room hostelry frequented by locals there to enjoy a quiet pint, a small (old school dimensions) television, sound muted, perched above the bar (Moldova v Wales), the food offer of the traditional variety…a packet of crisps or a bag of salted peanuts. A proper pub.

An easy going publican with a sympathetic ear for jazz, a determined hard core of jazz enthusiasts booking musicians on a monthly basis and that essential element, the belief that someone will turn up. Tonight’s bass player, Mr John Pope, almost didn’t. Turn up, that is. On social media JP posted a comment to the effect that he fancied going to a jam session in Newcastle. The jazz network let it be known that he had an engagement elsewhere…the Fox Inn, Hexham, 8:00pm. JP needs a diary secretary! Hang on a minute! Eight o’clock? Several phone calls later, eight o’clock was confirmed. Jazz gigs at the Fox always start at 9:00pm. The new time, news to some, almost caught out some including the bass player, John Pope. At about ten past eight, the evening’s star attraction, pianist Alan Glen, wondered out loud where JP could be. As if by magic, JP’s green mop top appeared as his bull fiddle led him through the front door. Master pianist Glen sat unperturbed enjoying a pint as drummer Paul Wight greeted JP offering to buy him a drink. JP: I’ll have a pint of beer. Oh, well.

Deuchar’s (the house beer), convivial company and, at twenty minutes past the hour, the Alan Glen Trio! Mr Glen doesn’t do announcements, Mr Glen plays piano. A pub quiz of sorts ensued: Guess the Tune! Glen’s modern jazz piano playing has held audiences rapt for many a year and his intros are forever foxing (ouch!) listeners. Love for Sale, Stella by Starlight, the blokes over at the bar (all blokes, it’s that kind of pub) were listening, heads nodding, as maestro Glen gave a masterclass.

Alan Glen observes the jazz piano trio format; verse, chorus upon chorus, bass solo, fours. Four as it happens led to a GAS book double delight…I Fall in Love Too Easily followed by Beautiful Love. A Deuchar’s refill as Woody ‘n’ You brought the first set to a close, interval chatter, the second set would be just as good.

The trio resumed with Solar. Glen’s improvisations never cease to amaze. Bass and drums – Pope and Wight – have been working long enough with the veteran modernist to know what he’s about. Pope’s solos frequently impressed, and Wight’s propulsive drumming spurred the trio onto greater heights. ‘Sid’ Wight’s brushwork on ‘S Wonderful perhaps makes the case for playing the majority of Glen’s set without sticks. Brushes work well in this format with sticks an option for the up tempo cookin’ numbers. Maestro Glen composes tunes and on this Hexham Jazz Club date chose to play Rolling Sid in memory of friend and band mate Ray Truscott, who, for many years, lived in this part of the world. Alan Glen’s next masterclass is scheduled for Sunday 15 October at the Jazz Co-op on Railway Street in Newcastle.                         

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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