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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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Voting is now taking place for Nominations in the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Awards. Please take this opportunity to vote in the various categories including MEDIA where a vote for Bebop Spoken Here would be much appreciated.

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.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Chris Biscoe; Roger Turner ; John Pope. A Jazz North East 'On the Outside' performance @ The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle - December 3

Chris Biscoe - tenor and alto sax, alto clarinet; Roger Turner - drums; John Pope – bass.  
(Review/photo courtesy of Ken Drew.)
Chris Biscoe & Roger Turner played their first duo gig in 1967 and this tour of five cities around the UK sees them working with local musicians, making each performance a unique event due to the differing range of instruments.  Biscoe and Turner, "The Collaborators" were joined tonight by John Pope with the aim of having open minds in the spirit of pure improvisation. This tremendous improvising threesome first came together four years ago after internationally acclaimed percussionist Roger Turner heard Newcastle bassist John Pope as part of a band, and was so impressed he suggested that they should play together. The brilliant reeds player Chris Biscoe was recruited to form a trio which made its debut at Sage Gateshead as part of a double bill with the Anglo-French quartet Sonsale.   And now, four years later, they share the stage again.
 Set 1 -  A blistering start from the off, quite high energy from the trio for a long while, until the pace slowed, with a bass solo from Pope followed by Turner reinforcing his presence. Then, with Biscoe included, all three once more turned up the heat. A longer, slow, meditative section ensued, Pope taking to the bow on occasion. Biscoe and Pope then quietly held back to let Turner take the focus with a short solo, but as the pace quickens, Pope reaches for a drum mallet (yes, he's still on bass!) and, along with Biscoe, joins in a lengthy rapid-fire section.  The energy of the trio was blistering.  Biscoe signalled a slowing down giving Turner the opportunity to take the lead in a very exploratory section, using 'other' devices to good percussive effect.  After some time, Biscoe breaks free, sax screaming, with Pope not far behind. Soon, the trio's frenzy returns, and in time it dissipates into a slowly fading end signalled by Biscoe and forcibly stopped by Turner with a final 'thump' on the drums. What an energetic first piece. Actually, it was the whole of the first set !! 

Set 2 began with a lively start from Biscoe on alto clarinet. Quickly the pace builds, Biscoe having swapped screaming sax for the strong overtones on the alto clarinet. After some time, the clarinet is swapped for a soprano sax bringing a different mood to the piece. By the next bass solo, Pope was pouring his energy into double bass, leading this section but not overly dominating it, Biscoe having swapped again back to bass clarinet to take off some of the heat from Pope.  Another fine extended piece of pure improvisation.

I presume it was quite a privilege for John Pope to be playing as part of this trio - he certainly stepped up to the plate and looked to be enjoying it. Notably, each member of the group played in equal measure - none were 'out in front'. Indeed, there was no significant leader, the group operating as a performer's co-operative, and worked very well on that basis.  Overall, Biscoe introduced many new ideas as the pieces progressed and developed, always making good use of his formidable technique and demonstrating his thoughtful approach, angular yet melodic, and unfailingly accessible.  Yet Biscoe never overpowered or stole the limelight, always leaving ample space for Pope and Turner to contribute, and for each to take the lead when the piece moved in their direction. Turner's dynamic contribution was everpresent, showing immense subtlety, and Pope gave his all with superbly inventive and energetic solo sections.  Not surprisingly, the audience's expectation was met - they had formed a cohesive, highly energised unit, but allowed themselves ample freedom to explore the material as it unfolded.  The visiting band members really enjoyed this venue and the performance. The decent sized audience were very appreciative too, snapping up CDs as they left.
Ken.

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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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