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Bebop Spoken There

Dave Newton: "Somebody once said, 'If you're going to steal, steal from the best'. That's what I try to do." - (Jazz Rag, Winter 2018).

Today Sunday December 9

Afternoon

Musicians Unlimited - Park Inn, Park Road, Hartlepool TS26 9HU. Tel: 01429 233126. 1:00pm (doors 12 noon). Free.

Am Jam - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 3:00pm. Free.

Lounge Lizards - Tyne Bar, Maling St., Newcastle NE6 1LP. Tel: 0191 265 2550. 4:00pm. Free.

Stu Collingwood Organ Trio - Charts, Quayside, Newcastle NE1 3DX. 4:00pm. Free.

Miss Mary & the Mr Rights - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 3:00pm. Free.

Vieux Carré Hot 4 - Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1 BG. 12:00-3:00pm. 1920's jazz in Trencher's, Restaurant, the Champagne Bar & Valerie's Tearooms.

Mojo Hand - The Brewery Tap, Wellington St., Dunston NE11 9HS. Tel: 0191 447 4220. 5:00pm. Free.

House of the Black Gardenia - Hoochie Coochie, Pilgrim St., Newcastle NE1 6SF. 0191 222 0130. 6:00pm (Doors). Free.

Howlin' Mat & Sleepy Jake Segrave - Bonded Warehouse, Low St., Sunderland SR1 2PQ. Tel: 0191 515 3583. 1:00pm. Free. Monkey Junk Blues Club.

Paul Skerritt - Stack, Pilgrim St., Newcastle NE1 2AS. 2:00pm. Free.

Evening

Steve Waterman w Durham Alumni Big Band - Bishop Auckland Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. Tel: 03000 269 524. 6:00pm. £10.00. Darlington Jazz Club.

Snake Davis Trio - St Peter's & St Paul's Parish Church, Stokesley, Cleveland TS9 5AE. Tel: 07923 245875. 7:30pm. £15.00.

DU Jazz Soc jam session - Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St, Durham DH13NP. Tel: 0191 383 9290. 7:30pm. Free.

Niffi Osiyemi Trio - Prohibition Bar, Brandling St., Gateshead NE8 2BA. 8:00pm (doors 7:00pm). Donations.

Archipelago w Lisette Auton & Fran Bundey - Bridge Hotel, Castle Garth, Newcastle NE1 1RQ. Tel: 0191 232 6400. 8:00pm. £8.00. & £6.00. JNE.

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

Friday, November 24, 2017

The BBC Big Band: Swing Legends @ Middlesbrough Theatre - November 22

(Review by Russell)
The BBC Big Band made a rare visit to the region to play a concert at Middlesbrough Theatre with vocalist Jeff Hooper as special guest. As a full house took its seats a star-studded line-up ambled out onto stage bang on time…professional from beginning to end. The BBC’s Big Band Special is long gone from the Radio 2 schedules but the orchestra continues to defy the odds with a concert diary stretching into next year.
Les Brown’s Leap Frog opened the show and the first, albeit brief, soloist to stand up (there was a lot of standing up and sitting down and standing up as a section and sitting down and…) was Paul Booth on tenor. From these parts, well, slightly further north, Booth no doubt felt quite at home. An enthusiastic MD helps, and trooper Barry Forgie is nothing if not enthusiastic about big bands. The evening’s programme ranged across the great big band years and Forgie was keen to tell how the bands back in the day, or rather the band leaders, made small fortunes playing to packed dances, the next big selling 78 eagerly awaited by their adoring public.

Artie Shaw…Begin the Beguine (rec.1938), looking around the auditorium it appeared that one or two members of the audience could have been there first time around! And, what’s more, a dark, drizzly Middlesbrough November evening wasn’t going keep them at home. The trumpet section’s star man Martin Shaw made his way down to front of stage for a flugelhorn feature on Strayhorn’s  Lush Life. As with most of the band, Shaw was making a 600 miles round trip to play on Teesside, and this kind of made it all worthwhile. MD Forgie reckoned Terry Gibbs’ big band was something special, at this point introducing the BBC Big Band’s ‘secret weapon’ Mr Anthony Kerr. Something up tempo? Try Sweet Georgia Brown.

Time for a song. Welcome Mr Jeff Hooper. You know the routine…suave, debonair, this is Vegas, after all. Mack the Knife. One of life’s mysteries…how do vocalists remember the lyrics of this odd, faintly ridiculous, but ever-popular number? No such problems for Hooper, managing to reference the, by now, swinging BBC Big Band. The band motoring, Hooper didn’t miss a beat. Time to take it down a notch; I’ve Got You Under My Skin with Kieran McLeod’s spot on trombone blast, Nancy with the Laughing Face and more.  

Let’s have some Harry James. Vibes man Kerr featured, as did the killing trumpet section, on The Mole. Then some Tommy Dorsey (Opus One), Jimmie Lunceford (For Dancers Only), MD Forgie asked if we were dancing? Not exactly, more a toe-tapping shuffle. Aye, those were the days!

Hard liquor passed few lips during the interval, more like a hard-living choc ice (what the band got up to backstage is another matter!).

Quincey Jones’ arrangement of For Lena and Lennie for the Basie band reintroduced Anthony Kerr with a muted Martin Shaw featuring once again. A set-piece affair brought tenor men Julian Siegel and Paul Booth to front of stage to slug it out Herman’s Herd style on Hallelujah Time. An absolute blast! Phew! Ding! Ding! Break! Our pugilists returned to their cornermen (reeds’ section) Smiles, a score draw. There’ll be a rematch and when it happens, make sure you’re ringside.*  

The BBC Big Band’s pad is probably as comprehensive as any and MD Barry Forgie plucked from it Mood Indigo featuring the latter day Harry Carney, baritone saxophonist Adrian Wilkinson, and a further beautifully executed trumpet part by Martin Shaw. One O’Clock Jump bounded towards the finishing line with one final blast awaiting. Drummer Tom Gordon, a tower of strength throughout, brought the show to a thunderous close with an extended, exhausting solo on Sing, Sing, Sing.          Russell    
                      
*The BBC Big Band will be in concert at Darlington Hippodrome (formerly Darlington Civic Theatre)  on April 10th next year. There is no guarantee Messrs Siegel and Booth will be there, after all, they are very busy musicians, but you wouldn’t want to miss a rematch, would you? Telephone the box office now: 01325 405405.                 

Barry Forgie MD; Jeff Hooper (vocals); Euan Mayne, Danny Marsden, George ?, Martin Shaw (trumpets); Kieran McLeod, Liam Kirkman, Ashley Horton, Peter North (trombones); Julian Siegel, Paul Booth, Alan Barnes, Steve ?, Adrian Wilkinson (reeds); Anthony Kerr (vibes); Robin Aspland (piano); Nick Walsh (double bass); Tom Gordon (drums).  


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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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