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Bebop Spoken There

Nate Smith: "Record labels, booking agents, management, still can't imagine the drummer as bandleader" - (DownBeat January 2019).

Today Friday December 14

Afternoon

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free. Xmas party with Gavin Lee added to line-up.

Swing Manouche - Bishop Auckland Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. Tel: 03000 269 524. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Evening

Boys of Brass - George Washington Hotel, Stone Cellar Road, High Heworth, Washington NE37 1PH. Tel: 0191 402 9988. 7:00pm. Xmas party night.

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regents Farm Road, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 284 3700. 8:00pm. £12.00. + bf. First night of two.

Danny Reed - Customs House, Mill Dam, South Shields NE33 1ES. Tel: 0191 454 1234. 7:00pm. £19.95. Xmas swing with Danny Reed.

Classic Swing - Gateshead Fell Cricket Club, Eastwood Gardens, Low Fell NE9 5UB. Tel: 0191 420 0160. 8:00pm. £5.00.

Mike Sanchez & the Portions + Groove-a-matics - The Forum Music Centre, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 363135. 7:30pm. £18.00.

Will Howard Trio - Traveller’s Rest, West Auckland Road, Cockerton, Darlington DL3 9ER. Tel: 01642 468177. 8:30pm. £10.00.

Swamp Hoppers - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

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

Friday, December 29, 2017

Leroy Hutson @ Jazz Café, Camden, December 27.

(Review by Steve T)
Leroy Hutson is most famous as the man Curtis Mayfield hand-picked to replace him in The Impressions when he went solo. After a few years singing Curtis stuff live and an unremarkable album, mostly written by Curtis, he embarked on his own solo career but remained on Mayfield's Curtom label. He had a run of albums which became highly sought after by soul fans, particularly in the UK, though to these ears none of them are particularly great, though each has one or two mind-bogglingly good tracks.
The last time I saw him was a Personal Appearance (PA) at a Soul Weekender in Fleetwood I was heavily involved in almost thirty years ago. At the time a PA meant a singer singing over backing tracks and this was the second best I ever heard, with a knee-buckling moment when he went into Lucky Fellow. In fairness to him, Sam Dees set the bar impossibly high but I spotted how incredible he could be with a band, so this has been a priority ever since. I've had tickets to see him twice since but both events ended up being cancelled so this threatened to be an emotional affair. 
Percussion, drums, guitar, bass, keys as well as his own centre stage. I spotted a bone, so a horn section which turned out to include trumpet and reeds also, and with one male and one female backing singer, all crammed on the Jazz Café stage, this was serious stuff.
A short intro turned into Cool Out, a jazzy instrumental which opens the latest compilation and the man entered the stage to rapturous applause and Lovers Holiday proved too much too soon. It's Different and Classy Lady afforded a window of opportunity to recover before All Because of You reopened the ducts.
By my reckoning, there's seven masterpieces in his repertoire and about the same slightly behind. He only managed four though in fairness I featured him at a recent DJ event and also only managed four.
The next hour featured mostly just behinders, including major just behinder So in Love with You, but with an interlude when he sat at his piano with a tambourine while the female backing singer took two songs he wrote for other people: Trying to get Next to You for Arnold Blair, which began fetching £75 to £90 on the modern soul scene about thirty years ago, and Cashing in for the Voices of East Harlem, a perennial Blackpool Mecca monster which will have every northern soul fan in the land kicking themselves for not going.
Just before he finished he gave us another masterpiece in Think I'm Falling in Love (one I didn't get to) and another, Lucky Fellow as part of the encore, right down to its keyboard coda. He returned to the stage but had nothing more to give us, so no Love oh Love (which has become a Mrs T favourite), no Heaven Right Here on Earth (the definitive version of an achingly beautiful ballad he wrote for the Natural Four) and no Get to This (a song many of the lesser DJs played because it was the only one they could find or afford, which I was never fussed about until I grew to love the wonderful crisp horns and positive feel).
So an ever so slightly disappointing end to a night which must rank amongst the very best of my life in the world ever.
Steve T.

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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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