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Bebop Spoken There

Lionel Loueke: "A mistake is just for the moment - make it the best mistake it can be, and that's it" - (JazzTimes, April 2019).

Archive

Today Thursday April 25

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Tees Valley Jazzmen - The Merry Monk, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 12:30pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Eliot Smith Dance: Triple Bill - Newbiggin Maritime Centre, Church Point, Newbiggin by the Sea NE64 6DB. Tel: 01670 811951. 7:30pm. £14.00. (£12.00. concs., £30.00. family). Performance inc Poppy (music composed by Jason Holcomb).

Julija Jaceniate Trio Black Swan, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 261 5618. 8:00pm. £6.00. (£5.00. concs). Jacenaite (vocals), Steve Glendinning (guitar), Paul Grainger (double bass).

Paul Skerritt Band - The Pennyweight, Bakehouse Hill, Darlington DL1 5QA. Tel: 01325 468411. 8:00pm. Free.

Paul Donnelly Quartet - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free. Tees Hot Club: Dormans Jazz Festival.

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

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

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Blues and Art of Chicago.

(Observations by Steve T)
Some people think American skyscrapers are ugly, but I find them amazing and Chicago more so than New York - real fantasy/sci-fi stuff. Chicago seems a long way to go for a concert, but the Windy City was on my bucket-list anyway, alongside San Fran, New Orleans, Boston and Vegas. The city that gave the world electric blues and Curtis Mayfield, who many think will ultimately be considered one of the finest human beings who ever lived.
We were left with a trek to the three gigs, two of which we did entirely by taxis, but by a stroke of luck, were literally around the corner from Buddy Guy's world-famous club - Legends.
A similar walk in the other direction found us at the Art Institute of Chicago, with the most incredible collection of Impressionism and Modern Art, including multiple famous pieces by masters including Picasso, Braque, Cezanne, Gaugin, Van Gogh, Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Seurat, Matisse and Dali.
Parallels are often made between Modern Art, particularly Picasso, and Modern Classical Music, particularly Stravinsky, but comparisons also extend to Jazz - Gerry Mulligan and Ben Webster spring to mind - and I found it a fitting backdrop to a weekend of Jazz.
When BB died, the mainstream pop/rock media promptly proclaimed Buddy Guy the greatest living blues artist, but I thought he became that when Muddy Waters died in the early eighties, or maybe when Albert King died a few years later. If you judge it by music, and I would suggest you should, Buddy has had a run of albums since which are unparalleled in blues, which may just make him the greatest ever.   
Luckily there was nothing on at Legends on the evenings, as it has a strict over twenty-ones policy, but on Friday afternoon Fruteland Jackson entertained us with his Strat, harmonica and (small s) soulful voice on a mix of classics and originals. Unfortunately, Mike Wheeler, a great guitarist with a large S soulful voice had to cancel on the Saturday and Fruteland got to do it all again.
On Friday night I popped in for a couple and caught an indeterminate multicultural six piece of drums, bass, keys, guitar and voice with a sax/ trumpet horn section for some blues covers and originals, and covers of famous soul hits.
Lots of guitars, pictures and paraphernalia around the walls and some of the staff were keen to talk about their boss, the blues and Black Music. Others were just after your money. I had thought it might be a bit touristy, like Ronnie Scott's, but it's a great club and would be fantastic with a real blues artist playing to real blues enthusiasts.
Like Chicago and USA, it's all about contradictions and I found I loved things and loathed things, often simultaneously and sometimes for the same reason.
Steve T

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