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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.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Smokin’ Spitfires @ The Cluny - Jan 7

Neil Hunter (vocals), Steve McGarvie (alto saxophone & vocals), Alan Thompson (tenor saxophone), Terry O’Hern (trombone & vocals), Mike Hepple (Hammond organ & vocals), Bob Garrington (guitar), Ian Rigby (bass & vocals) & Gary Cain (drums)
(Review by Russell) 
The idea was that the Smokin’ Spitfires would play a one-off charity gig. That was a few years ago and now, in the first week of 2018, the band’s regular first Sunday in the month lunchtime gig goes from strength to strength having chalked up dozens of appearances and it’s still all for charity. The eight-piece band emerged phoenix-like from the embers of the legendary Eastside Torpedoes and it continues to attract a loyal following with many fans undoubtedly there from the beginning.

The Smokin’ Spitfires mine the glory years of the Atlantic and Stax record labels adding one or two of their own soul-stirring originals to the set list. Founding members of the Eastside Torpedoes Neil Hunter and Terry O’Hern are at the helm; Hunter these days sporting a geet big Santa Claus beard hasn’t lost any of his considerable vocal power, and O’Hern’s arrangements guarantee the Spitfires fire on all cylinders from note one. Jumpin’ in the Spotlight, Kissin’ in the Rain (it wasn’t, raining that is), a typically rip-roaring start. The Temptations’ Can’t Get Next to You, the Wilson Pickett chart hit 634-5789 (comp. Eddie Floyd and Steve Cropper), the horns killing on Move On Up, bona fide soul classics, all with Hunter’s ‘wake the dead’ vocals. The horn players are well known on the regional jazz scene; Alan Thompson (tenor) and Steve McGarvie (alto sax) are members of the Jazztones, although McGarvie plays keyboards in the latter outfit, and, along with Terry O’Hern, are fixtures in the award-winning Durham Alumni Big Band. Playing this stuff with the Smokin’ Spitfires must be a blast!

Arthur Conley’s Sweet Soul Music heard McGarvie, O’Hern, Mike Hepple and Ian Rigby supplying  the ‘Yeah, Yeah’ backing vocals to Hunter – and the audience! – singing the tongue-twisting lyrics, and finally, Sam and Dave insisted Hold On, I’m Comin’. The Smokin’ Spitfires are great fun, never do they seem to tire of the set list, the rhythm section – Hepple on Hammond organ, bassist Rigby and drummer Gary Cain – lays down a rock steady foundation upon which Hunter, the horns, and guitarist Bob Garrington deliver the goods time and again.

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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: I look forward to hearing from you.