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Bebop Spoken There

Don Rendell: "It was about the time that the organ-type piano attachment - the clavioline - was invented. And the poster billing at one place where we played up north announced proudly, but erroneously: "The Johnny Dankworth Seven, featuring Frank Holder and the cleolaine" " - (www.jazzprofessional.com, December 2001).

Mary Lou Williams: “...it was discovered I possessed perfect pitch. Rumour of this oddity spread throughout the school, and pupils would drop pots and pans and other loud objects, asking 'What note, Mary?' (Melody Maker, 1954).

Today Saturday May 26

Afternoon

Dave Ferra All Stars - Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 3:00pm. Free. Whitley Bay Carnival. Blues band.

King Bee - Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 5:00pm. Free. Whitley Bay Carnival.

Evening

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

Billy Bootleggers All Star Band - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson Street, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

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

Thursday, October 12, 2017

James Birkett & Bradley Johnston @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University - October 12

 James Birkett (guitar) & Bradley Johnston (guitar)
(Review by Russell)
Newcastle University’s lunchtime concert series welcomed the jazz guitar duo of James Birkett and Bradley Johnston. Birkett has spent a working life in music education, and Johnston was one of his students until the Wearsider graduated with First Class Honours from the BMus degree programme based at Sage Gateshead. Their performance of fifty minutes in the recently refurbished King’s Hall comprised nine compositions, of which two were written by Birkett and a waltz by Johnston.
Seated on a low raised platform the jazz guitar duo opened with Birkett’s Blues for BJ. A noticeable feature of the duo’s concert appearances is the care taken to ensure sound levels are set just right. Solo or in rhythmic support the duo worked sympathetically exemplified by a degree of trust shown when they played Doxy; lots of space, lines exchanged, scarcely a glance between them. The Ray Noble chaser Cherokee benefited from a tailored arrangement with much dazzling fretwork. King’s Hall audiences are used to high quality concerts, invariably classical and folk, and this all-too-rare, but welcome jazz ‘gig’ was listened to attentively without the usual ‘jazz club’ interaction one would expect at other venues with applause reserved for the conclusion of each number.

Burt Bacharach’s achingly beautiful Alfie has been a vehicle for jazz musicians down the years and Birkett and Johnston’s version is up there with the best of them. Several accomplished guitar duos have been known to close a performance with Chick Corea’s Spain, today’s duo being one of them but on this occasion it didn’t feature as a finale thanks to a new party piece written by James Birkett titled Suite 4. It would appear that Birkett and Johnston have hit upon a number with which the duo can go out on with a flourish. 
Russell                  

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Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to them all other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
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About this blog - contact details.

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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