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Bebop Spoken There

Grant Green Jr.: "One thing that most people--especially jazz cats--don't realise is that all of your jazz standards were once pop standards" - DownBeat July 2018).

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Bobby Sanabria: "Tito Puente was not a very tall man, but when he played the timbales he was a giant among men." - DownBeat July 2018).

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Today Thursday June 21

Afternoon

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

Evening

Maine St. Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Holywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. 8:30pm. Free.

Indigo Jazz Voices - The Globe, 11 Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.00.

Lambton Little Band - Prohibition Bar, Arch 3, Brandling Street, Gateshead NE8 2BA. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session.

Lindsay Hannon Plus - St James’ & St Basil’s Church, Fenham, Newcastle NE4 9EJ. 7:30pm. £10.00.

Charlotte Glasson Group - Jazz Café, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. £10.00. (£8.00. concs.). JNE.

Get in the Band rehearsal - Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4666. 6:00-10:00pm. Second of two rehearsals under the direction of Chris Sharkey culminating in three performances in a day on Sat 23 June - 1) Great North Museum (Hancock Museum), 2) Central Station, 3) Sage Gateshead. Times TBC. Free but ticketed.

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

Tees Hot Club w. Ray Dales (alto); Dave Stansfield (tenor); Bruce Taylor (keys) - Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 9pm. Free.

Jazz Jam - Fire Station, High Street West, Sunderland SR1 3DT. Tel: 0191 594 7241. 8pm. Free.

Billy's Buskers: Plug in and Play - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 7:00pm. Free.

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

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Baby it’s Cold INside! Alan Barnes – Jazz Christmas Carol @ Ushaw College, Fri. Dec 1

Alan Barnes (sax, clarinet and bass clarinet); Bruce Adams (trumpet); Mark Nightingale (trombone); Robert Fowler (saxes and clarinet); Karen Sharp (saxes and clarinet); David Newton (piano); Simon Thorpe (bass); Clark Tracey (drums).
(Review by Jerry)
Alan Barnes entered, resplendent with lighted candlestick, nightcap, nightshirt (looking well slept-in) and socks and slippers presumably loaned by Nora Batty! Resplendent is perhaps the wrong word but it certainly was an entrance!
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, with Paul Edis depping on piano for David Newton (stuck in traffic), set the mood and gave hints of the musical riches to come. As the applause was dying down, the pianist arrived –“a visitation from the ghost of gigs past”, according to the band-leader!

Being unfamiliar with this suite of music (I was abroad when it came to Ushaw last year) I was uncertain how the jazz would be tied into the carefully selected and dramatically read extracts from Dickens: the next few tunes set the pattern. After The Start of It we had (my favourite Christmas saying) Bah Humbug, on which Scrooge was “voiced” by some brilliant baritone sax from Karen Sharp. Marley’s Ghost ascending the stairs was represented by Clark Tracey’s drumming and a suitably spooky crescendo of sound. Marley’s attire – tights, boots, tassels and chains – drew a typical interjection from our narrator: “sounds like he’d been to Ann Summers”!
And that was the pattern – a mix of brilliant music, Dickens and one-liners from Alan Barnes who, should anyone ever steal his reeds, could make a living doing stand-up!
After A Portrait of Belle the audience were thanked for getting into the spirit of things by looking parched with the cold (Ushaw had heating problems) and later were promised a Christmas medley to include Baby it’s Cold Inside! The description of The Ghost of Christmas Present was prefaced with a warning to any vegetarians or vegans in the audience that Dickens’s prose might include references to meat….and fish….and fowl. Worse appeared to be coming as Barnes threatened to lift his night-shirt when the ghost revealed the starving children, Want and Ignorance! “That’s why they charge more for the front-row seats!” Fortunately, we were spared that and the music resumed. The apparition’s music was delightfully Caribbean in tone (yet another brilliant variation in style and mood within this suite)  a Rastafarian Jolly Green Giant until piercing trumpet (Scrooge) led up to a reading about Tiny Tim.
The music for The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come featured the rarely used bass clarinet, described by its owner as a “rejected E-pipe”! Blown into at face level, the notes, like honeyed Guinness, emerged round about Nora Batty’s stockings and lent an impressively sombre tone for us to visualise the demise of Tim and the unattended funeral of Scrooge himself. Then, in a total mood-switch, we had The End of It (the reformed Scrooge capering) followed by the closing number, God Bless Us Everyone.
We never did get Baby It’s Cold Inside, but the Christmas mood was reinforced instead by a reading of one of my favourite poems – The Oxen, by Thomas Hardy – and three seasonal favourites: Tormé’s Christmas Song, featuring Mark Nightingale’s trombone, a jazz version of We Three Kings and (somehow via Blue Monk) Santa Claus is Coming to Town Cue massive applause!
By my own admission, I am no expert, but I would say this has to rank among the best live music (ANY GENRE) I have ever seen and heard!
Jerry

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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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