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Bebop Spoken There

Piers Paul Read: "Bruce Reynolds and Biggs shared an interest in Sex, Jazz and Hemingway." - (The Train Robbers by Piers Paul Read, Coronet Books 1979.)

George Shearing: "Speaking about Johann Sebastian Bach I think he'd be a real jazzer if he were alive today. I mean any man who has two wives, twenty kids, gets kicked out of the church for being too harmonically radical and drinks beer can't be all wrong can he?" - (Crescendo March 1984.)

Submissions for review

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 all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance

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If you experience any problems posting a comment, as I understand some readers are, then email it to me direct, stating which post your comment relates to - lanceliddle@gmail.com. Alternatively, try the Anonymous button but please sign your name!
Apologies for any inconvenience, this is due to circumstances beyond my control.

Today Saturday July 21

Afternoon

Women Play Jazz! Workshop - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 2:00pm. £25.00. (£22.50. Jazz Co-op shareholder) payable in advance. Tutor: Jilly Jarman.

Michael Woods - Garden Village Association, Rosewood Avenue, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 5DD. From 4:00pm. Summer Party & Barbecue.

Jambone with Laura Jurd - Gala Theatre, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. Tel: 03000 266 600. 12 noon. Durham Brass Festival. Free.

Mississippi Dreamboats - Blackett St., Newcastle NE1 7BS. 3 x 30 min. sets (11:30am/1:45pm/4:30pm). Free.

Jazz - Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG inc Alter Ego (1:00pm), Vieux Carré Jazzmen (3:00pm).

Evening

Northern Monkey Brass Band - Wharton Park, Durham DH1 4UF. 6:00-9:00pm. Free. Streets of Brass (Durham Brass Festival)

Davina & The Vagabonds – Sage Gateshead, St. Mary’s Sq., Gateshead Quays NE8 2JR. 10:30pm. 18:80. Full Americana program.

Francis Tulip Quartet - Zeffirellis , Compston Rd., Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 9AD. 8:30 pm Free

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

Friday, December 08, 2017

The Zoe Gilby University Group - “Constellation Jam" @ Jazz Café - December 1

Zoë Gilby (Mentor and Vocals) / Grace Alexander (Keyboard) / Ross Barnes (Bass) / Oliver Cobb (Guitar) / Amber Cox (Vocals) / Will Earl (Drums & Percussion) / Chris McMahon (Drums & Percussion)
 (Review/photos by Ken Drew)
“For the past four weeks, vocalist and songwriter Zoë Gilby has been running a series of workshops for the postgraduate music students of Newcastle University, culminating in this final performance for the students "History of Jazz" module.  Also, as part of Jazz North East’s ‘Women Make Music' series, this composition Constellation Jam illustrates the evolving nature of jazz.  Accepting no boundaries, the constant progression of this particular genre of music has entertained and inspired modern popular music and beyond.  The concept of this piece highlights the importance and integral need for jazz to be always changing. Often not to everyone’s taste, but never compromising, always a curious adventure.”
Not only was this the first performance of this piece, they were being videoed too. Also, the young performers were being assessed as part of their degree course as they played!   Over four workshop sessions with Gilby, in as many weeks, they wrote this piece about the history and evolution of Jazz.  Starting straight in with a song led by Cox which developed nicely with Earl and McMahon providing the rhythm and Barnes solidly on bass.  This was an intriguingly catchy tune, simple but very effective, giving quite a powerful start.  Then into a slower section of improvised vocalese with Gilby leading and bringing out the improvised nature of the piece. It soon became apparent that there were several sections to this single piece, so, many segues ensued, including some vocalese from Gilby.

Then a long section of keys (Alexander) and guitar (Cobb) followed by percussion, building to a crescendo with all, then onto a gentle, quiet song eventually building to its own crescendo. This then segued into a sole percussion section (notwithstanding the vocal contributions from Gilby and Cox). The final section was a good combination of improvisation including spoken word which gave quite a contemporary urban feel to the piece, slowing down and finally fading to a close.

Overall, there seemed to be a good level of improvisation during the piece, with a well-composed structure, and a nice ‘feel’ to it throughout.  The six music students worked hard, concentrating even harder and working well together as the piece progressed. Their leader/mentor was always there to guide, occasionally leading, but always inspirational. It would have been interesting to have been at the four workshop sessions which led to this performance just to see how the individuals, the group overall and the final composition had developed. But their live performance was fine and well appreciated by the audience.  Possibly two small things to comment on. The sound balance across the band could have been a little better, although I don’t think we missed anything. And maybe each performer could, in general, have given a bit more dynamic expression to give a bigger impact to their contribution and to the overall sound of the piece.  Maybe this translates to playing to the audience rather than across the stage.  Still, what a terrific 45-minute uninterrupted piece, and all their own work!!!

Afterthought:   This long piece made a big impact, and is worthy of being heard again. Hopefully, it will. And given that these young players are still on their Uni music course, this could perhaps be quickly followed by a day in the recording studio to give them the experience too of producing their very own CD. Just sayin’.  Hopefully, it could happen!
Ken

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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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