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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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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, February 22, 2018

Group Theory + The Early Bird Band - A Jazz North East ‘Schmazz’ double bill @ The Jazz Café - February 15

Daniel Garel (Alto Sax); Ollie Farley (guitar);  Dylan Purches (bass);  Tristan Bacon (drums)
(Review/photos courtesy of Ken Drew)
Group Theory is a quartet of students (some are now ex-students) from Durham, all members of the University’s award-winning Big Band, but this the small group format gives them the opportunity to write and perform new compositions. They play a mix of imaginatively interpreted jazz standards alongside original compositions, mainly from the pen of alto saxophonist Daniel Garel.
The intro was a lively piece (Asymmetry?) by Garel which had a distinctly bluesy feel, followed by a tune with a strong groove, blues-tinged also, with an interesting time signature/rhythm, over which sax and guitar soloed.  Then a slow & melodic tune to take things down a bit, sax-led throughout.  To me, it was reminiscent of the laid-back style found in Duke’s Far East Suite. Nicely done, and a pleasingly slow pace.
Next Circling Outwards which was borne out of  Garel’s experimental drums/sax duo with Bacon on drums.  Garel remarked that he now looks back with surprise at this duo playing at such an event – but it was edgy and fun!  The next piece emerged from that duo, now re-worked into the quartet’s repertoire.   This was another fine piece, with lots of applause for the sax & guitar solos, perfectly backed by drums & bass.

The next piece to follow was, in fact, a première.  Dreamlike in pace and rhythm, with gentle drum accompanying moving through a depiction of the reaction to losing someone then returning to a peaceful pace. The guitar sequence was subtly echoed and nicely blues-tinged.  At the end, a few seconds of silence preceded the audience’s keen applause. Next up – a guest guitarist! Francis Tulip took to the stage to play a quick standard. After a brief intro, it quickly went into an extended nicely-paced solo from Tulip showing his dexterity along the fretboard, followed by a sax solo – at a fair pace too. Then to an energetic drum break, and close. 

The final tune:  Funk in Vermicelli (or was it Pumpkin Vermicelli or something similar? ). Again, interesting rhythms, quite angular both initially and again towards the end.  With an excellent sax solo then guitar solo, concluding with sax above the distinctly angular rhythm. Quite a varied piece, but hung together well.

So, a much appreciated all-round performance by Group Theory – their all-original compositions sounding very fresh, melodic and varied, with a good vibe to them all. 
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Alex Thompson (alto); James Metcalf (flugel, tpt); Thomas  Henry (guitar); Ben Lawrence (piano);  Alex Shipsey (bass);   Dylan Thompson (drums); Paul Edis (MD, sax, flute)
Previous to that, we heard from the Early Bird Band which was originally established by pianist Paul Edis (their MD) as a rehearsal group at Newcastle’s Lit & Phil, with all the members being in their teens. Also playing a mix of standards and originals - that they are increasingly in demand for ‘regular’ gigs beyond their regular rehearsals.  Paul Edis did remark tonight that it seemed to be the golden period of this second generation of Early Bird Band (the first incarnation supported Laura Jurd at Sage Gateshead) since they each have to move on at some stage.  He also remarked that we’d hear 3 or 4  World Premieres tonight, played by some of the finest emerging talent in the North East.  

First off, a lively tune (by Kenny Dorham, transcribed by Metcalf) with a good vibe to it providing a nice lively start.  Brief solos from the front line got us in the mood for what’s to come, as all seemed to be on-form from the start.  Next, Clouded Hills - Alex’s Thompson’s ballad with fine solos from Thompson on alto, Metcalf on flugel and Henry on guitar. Edis moved to flute for this one.  Then a composition by the pianist Ben Lawrence, but as yet it is not named. With a feel-good vibe, it has a nice melody with plenty room for solos from Lawrence himself, and Metcalf on flugel. 

Next was Dorian Atmosphere.  A loosely scored piece to provide opportunities for some improvisation.  With a loose feel, and some funky sections it gave (according to Edis) “an insight into the minds of Teenagers “.  Well, that’s one way to look at it, but it came together well, and all involved played very confidently. A very adventurous and progressive piece for such a young set of players.

Lastly - a Mingus tune, also transcribed by Metcalf. It was another quick and lively one, a good all-rounder to finish on.  Briefish solos were taken around the band, keeping it very lively, including a welcome and very enthusiastic drum solo from Dylan Thompson.  He may have been hidden at the back, but he made his presence felt!!  

In all, it was a good opportunity to see two bands showcasing what young developing musicians can do, as an ensemble and individually.
Ken

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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 them all other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
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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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