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Bebop Spoken There

Artie Shaw: “I'm not interested in giving people what they want--I'm interested in making music.” – (DownBeat October 15, 1939).

Jason Marsalis: “There's so many places that this music can go and there's a lot yet to be discovered.'” – (DownBeat April 2018)

Today Tuesday March 20


Classic Swing - The Ship, Front St., Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.


Jam session - Jazz Café, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. Free.

Jazz Blowers’ Easter Concert - Hurworth Grange Community Centre, Hurworth Road, Hurworth Place, Darlington DL2 2BN. 7:00pm. £5.00. Concert in the Hadwin Lounge.

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

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Francis Tulip Quartet @ The Fox Inn, Hexham - Jan 9

Francis Tulip (guitar), Joel Brown (keyboards), Deon Krishnan (bass) & Matt MacKellar (drums)
(Review by Russell) 
On this third date of the tour, a short notice dep was required. Bassist Michael Dunlop had returned to London and sighting six string bass maestro Deon Krishnan walking through the door of the Fox Inn quelled any fears that this Hexham Jazz Club engagement could, perhaps, result in a less than cohesive performance. The booking of the Francis Tulip Quartet offered something a little different for the Fox’s hardcore jazz fans. What’s more, many new faces turned up making for a marvellous atmosphere.

The set list remained largely unchanged from the pre-Christmas tour dates – a good idea, enabling the tunes to develop by dint of playing them time and again in front of an audience. Benny Golson, Gilad Hekselman, Johnny Green (Body and Soul), Arthur Schwartz (Alone Together), familiar tunes all, with Joel Brown’s piano playing and Francis Tulip’s guitar solo on Body and Soul both sensitive and expansive. The audience liked what it heard with more than a few whoops and hollers from all parts of the room. Bandleader Tulip announced the first set would conclude with Caravan segueing into 500 Miles High.
The brace of tunes took matters to previously unscaled heights. Our bass dep Deon Krishnan sight reading the parts hung on to the coat tails of the young bucks as they flew 500 miles high, reaching for the stars, the transition from the first number to the second masterful with a beyond-his-years solo from Joel Brown. Thrilling stuff!

The Fox was busy. The publican couldn’t be anything other than delighted. A bit crack with Michael (Hexham Jazz Club), Mr Brown senior and the Tulip clan, a trip to the bar, a canny night alright and there was a second set to look forward to!

Wayne Shorter’s Yes or No opened the second set. This is, perhaps, the number which best sums up what the Francis Tulip Quartet is all about. Hugely accomplished, if they ever record an album – and why not? – Shorter’s composition must be on it, the musicianship was absolutely astonishing!               
In introducing a well-known tune Francis Tulip made the observation that ‘yesterday’ – ie Jan 8th – would have been Thelonious Monk’s birthday. Now then, basic research reveals this to be factually incorrect. Hey why worry? Further, Tulip suggested the great man would be spinning in his grave at the prospect of a 21st-century jazz group playing a funked up In Walked Bud. What the hell? The FT4 went ahead and played a funked up version. Who better than Deon Krishnan to funk it up? DK isn’t heard much on the jazz scene – he’s busy with other projects – but when he does play a jazz gig it’s always a fun night and funked-up fours with Matt MacKellar brought the house down.

Christian McBride’s Interlude was absolutely killing. A pub in a Northumberland market town, three young musicians, plus a not-so-young Krishnan (!!!), stretching out as they did was something else, you couldn’t make it up. Drummer Matt MacKellar, fresh from his first term at Berklee, has returned with a newly acquired dynamism. As if the young man wasn’t highly accomplished before he set off on the adventure of a lifetime, here at the Fox, Matt grabbed the night by the scruff of the neck with a sense of purpose, determinedly driving the quartet to ever greater heights, not least on Coltrane’s Impressions. The audience loved it, job done! Next stop Darlington on Sunday (Jan 14), six o’clock start at the Quakerhouse. Be there.           


Anonymous said...

Thelonious Funk - In Walked Bootsy. You couldn't make it up.

Patti said...

The band didn't need Bootsy - they had Funky Deon, the funkiest bass man in town!

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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: I look forward to hearing from you.