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Bebop Spoken There

Nate Smith: "Record labels, booking agents, management, still can't imagine the drummer as bandleader" - (DownBeat January 2019).

Today Friday December 14

Afternoon

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free. Xmas party with Gavin Lee added to line-up.

Swing Manouche - Bishop Auckland Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. Tel: 03000 269 524. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Evening

Boys of Brass - George Washington Hotel, Stone Cellar Road, High Heworth, Washington NE37 1PH. Tel: 0191 402 9988. 7:00pm. Xmas party night.

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regents Farm Road, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 284 3700. 8:00pm. £12.00. + bf. First night of two.

Danny Reed - Customs House, Mill Dam, South Shields NE33 1ES. Tel: 0191 454 1234. 7:00pm. £19.95. Xmas swing with Danny Reed.

Classic Swing - Gateshead Fell Cricket Club, Eastwood Gardens, Low Fell NE9 5UB. Tel: 0191 420 0160. 8:00pm. £5.00.

Mike Sanchez & the Portions + Groove-a-matics - The Forum Music Centre, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 363135. 7:30pm. £18.00.

Will Howard Trio - Traveller’s Rest, West Auckland Road, Cockerton, Darlington DL3 9ER. Tel: 01642 468177. 8:30pm. £10.00.

Swamp Hoppers - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

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

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Berlin Jazz Quartet @ St James’ & St Basil’s Church, Newcastle - September 16*

Ulrich Hübner (tenor saxophone), Max Arsava (piano), Leo Helgert (double bass) & Jonas Sorgenfrei (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Four young music degree students drove from Germany to Tyneside (autobahn, a cross-Channel ferry, motorway) to undertake a tour playing five gigs in five days – two churches, a church hall, a sixth form college, and a recently revived community music venue. Studying at prestigious music conservatoires, members of the quartet had worked together in numerous combinations but it was this short tour that afforded them a first opportunity to perform together as the Berlin Jazz Quartet.
St James’ and St Basil’s Church in the Fenham area of Newcastle is one of many venues utilised by Master Musicians International to facilitate performance opportunities for classical musicians – emerging and established – and this Saturday lunchtime concert featuring the Berlin Jazz Quartet was a new venture. Happily, the event was well supported. Those thinking they were about to hear something like Acker Bilk were in for a surprise!
A one set performance of some forty-five minutes comprised Wayne Shorter, original composition, and a composition by a professor of music. Tenor saxophonist Ulrich Hübner played it acoustically, as did pianist Max Arsava and drummer Jonas Sorgenfrei, with bass player Leo Helgert employing minimal volume to ensure the bottom end projected sufficiently enabling his bandmates to hear his contribution. Wayne Shorter’s mid-sixties album Speak No Evil featured heavily during the concert and indeed the eponymous title track opened proceedings. A modal approach, the unhurried style of Shorter, tenor player Ulrich Hübner is clearly an admirer of the legendary American. The second number, Ulrich’s Blue Flower, offered further evidence, the title itself a nod to WS.

Max Arsava sat at the Danemann piano on a simple, stackable chair, replying to Hübner’s opening statements with his own considered solos. Hübner’s professor – saxophonist Johannes Enders – is likely to award his student top marks given that the quartet played his melodic For Carla! Later, the English speaking saxophonist suggested the title wasn’t a reference to Carla Bley, more a personal response by the composer. Leo Helgert’s quiet military medium snare pattern introduced Neptune Catcher (comp. Hübner) and the drummer maintained this simple motif throughout the piece. Sticks or brushes, Helgert is yet another fine young player. More Wayne Shorter – Wild Flower – from the same mid-sixties vinyl source. Post-performance, your reviewer suggested to Hübner that he could check out Matt Anderson, a likely kindred spirit.

The Berlin Jazz Quartet concluded their set with Long Goodbye. The four musicians made time to talk to all and sundry before heading to St James’ Park to watch Newcastle United play Stoke City saying it was too good an opportunity to pass up. For the record, Newcastle won 2-1.  

On this evidence, German music conservatoires are developing young musicians every bit as good their British counterparts such as Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds and London
Russell.
An impromptu and not altogether appropriate name as there is a long established quartet in Berlin of the same name.  

1 comment :

Hugh said...

Interesting, thanks Russell.

St James' and St Basil's is also a fine building in in its own right (Pevsner: "a solid, prosperous building without extravagant show, but with considerable imagination") and a fitting backdrop for quality music of any kind. The building has an intersting history too, having been paid for by Sir James Knott in memory of his sons James and Basil, killed in the First World War.

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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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