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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 Saturday May 25

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - St. Cuthbert's Church Hall, Dovecote St., Amble NE65 0DX. 12:00pm - 3:00pm (music from 1:00pm). £10.00. See poster for more details.

Sax on the Tyne, St George's Church Hall, St George's Close, Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2TF. 5:00-7:00pm. Free (donations). A Jesmond Community Festival event.

Evening

Baghdaddies - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 6:00pm. £10.00. Whitley Bay Carnival.

Lady & the Jazz Tramps - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £6.00. (£3.00. student).

Radio Pensacola Band - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. Free (donations).

Blues/Funk/Soul

Teresa Watson Band - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

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

Monday, September 25, 2017

Late Night Jazz – Hexham Abbey Festival of Music and Arts, September 23: The Nikki Iles/Stan Sulzmann Quartet.

Nikki Iles – piano; Stan Sulzmann  - Tenor Saxophone; Pete Turner – Bass; Luke Flowers - Drums
(Review by Hugh C/Photo courtesy of Stu Taylor of Credere Media).
It was with strains of Gabriel Fauré's  In Paradisum from the evening's performance of his Requiem by the Festival Chorus and Orchestra that I ascended from the Abbey itself via the Late Night Stairs to the Great Hall in an adjoining building.  Comfortable chairs were set out in neat rows with a few early bird punters already seated prior to the official opening time of 10pm.  Members of the festival chorus and orchestra, bow ties loosened or removed headed, justifiably, to the well-stocked bar.  The gig was scheduled for a 10.30 start.  In the absence of a convenient green room Nikki Iles and Stan Sulzmann were seated patiently to one side, adjacent to the piano, talking; Pete Turner was checking his bass and amplification system and Luke Flowers using the drum stool as a silent practise pad.
The Late Night Jazz session was something of a coup for Festival co-director Martin Hughes who had managed to persuade Nikki Iles that Hexham was only slightly further North than Scarborough where the Quartet had played a lunchtime gig that afternoon at the Jazz Festival.  The move was repaid with a near capacity crowd of approximately one hundred souls.  As is often the case in these circumstances the front row of seats on each side was empty and I was able to pick the best seat in the house.  This also meant I was in a position to have a brief word with Nikki and Stan before the gig.
At 10.30, as scheduled, the band took their places in the performance space (no stage) at the end of the hall.  A quality Kawai piano, lid raised, awaited Iles fingertips.  A microphone placed over the piano strings did not appear to be working – all the better, perhaps.  Apart from the bass mic, the band played completely unplugged and were richly rewarded by the resonant acoustic of the room.

The Quartet opened with Kenny Werner's Compensation.  Sulzmann's full tenor sound dominated initially followed by solos from Iles' piano and Turner's bass.  This sequence more or less set the pattern for the evening.  Come Rain or Come Shine followed, beautifully delivered by Sulzmann's mellow tenor.  Drummer Luke Flowers (depping for the advertised Dave Walsh, who was unable to make the gig due to ill health) was allowed off the leash during this number in short bursts, interspersed by melodic ensemble playing, a very effective form of drum solo, I find.  The announcements between tracks were shared between Stan Sulzmann and Nikki Iles.  It was now Nikki's turn to announce that the next number was from Gershwin's Porgy and Bess:  “My Man's Gone Now” drew an audible “ahhhh” from the audience – to which Sulzmann immediately quipped “Good riddance!”  Solo piano commenced the number with progressive addition of selected bass notes and a rhythmic tapping on the cymbal using the base of the brush handle and finally we were away with the quartet in full swing.

After a short interval allowing replenishment of glasses we were treated to Too Young to Go Steady - equally applicable to all members of the band, as Stan Sulzmann wryly observed.  During this piece we were treated to an exposition of New Orleans style, second line drumming.  This was followed by Nobody Else but Me, allegedly the last tune written by Jerome Kern.  A fine extended bass solo from Pete Turner during this piece.  We were now nearing the witching hour when the licence declared NO MUSIC!  There ensued some discussion as to what the quartet would finish with.  Body and Soul was suggested; a few valedictory words from Festival co-director, Martin Hughes thanked the band and the audience and then we were off into a rip-roaring Ladies in Mercedes (Steve Swallow)  - short solos all round, Sulzmann pointing at drummer, Luke Flowers to remind Nikki Iles to leave him a bit of space.  And then it was all over, a fantastic evening:  short, but very sweet – fine musicians, and such nice people too!
Hugh C.

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