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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).

On This Day: December 14

2009: Jim Birkett Trio w. Sue Ferris @ The Cherry Tree.

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.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Northern Monkey Brass Band @ Billy Bootleggers - Feb 13

Graham Hardy (trumpet); Ben Chinnery (trumpet); Jamie Toms (tenor saxophone); Mark Ferris (trombone); Jason Holcomb (trombone); Adam Sinclair (snare drum); Brendan Murphy (bass drum) & Phil Rosier (tuba)
(Review by Russell).
A first Mardi Gras at Billy Bootleggers. Who to invite to the party? The Northern Monkey Brass Band, that’s who! Graham Hardy’s New Orleans-inspired eight-piece band is the go-to outfit on occasions like this. The horn players bring little baggage with them, Phil Rosier slings his tuba over one shoulder and the rhythms boys – Adam Sinclair and Brendan Murphy – split the kit in half making it an easy-in, easy-out gig.
Billed as ‘Billy’s Fat Tuesday Spectacular Mardi Gras Special’ the Nelson Street venue, with its one room, low ceiling, low-level lighting set-up is ideal in helping create an atmosphere and the Northern Monkeys set about having a party. From the start, it was clear that some patrons were hearing the band for the first time but it wasn’t long before they were whooping and hollering.

The A-Team to Flash Gordon, the Northern Monkeys had a blast. The many smiling faces were evidence that people ‘got’ what the band is about – familiar, non-jazz tunes given a New Awlins’ twist. The musicianship of the highest order, The Sly Capuchin featured the amazing trombone playing of Jason Holcomb. In the absence of David Gray, the ex-pat American blew big and bold and Billy Bootleggers’ Mardi Gras crowd loved it. Bandleader Graham Hardy soloed on Attitude, later going walkabout blowing up a storm as the rhythm section stirred up a mighty tasty gumbo.

Jason Holcomb’s Herculean efforts were matched by fellow ’bone man Mark Ferris on the New Orleans’ staple Iko Iko and it is highly likely that he’ll be in the Strictly Smokin’ Big Band’s ’bone section on Saturday evening at the band’s eagerly anticipated  Alphabetti Theatre gig with guest star Paul Booth. The tune with no name is just that (suggestions to Graham Hardy c/o Northern Monkey Brass Band), and the lack of a moniker is no reason not to play it so they did. Tuba man Phil Rosier always gets a solo spot and he went way down low and way up high on Funky Pie. A fist-pumping Rosier indicated our man reached the spot not once but twice – low then high.

Two sets of Louisiana-inspired tunes, an American Shipyard beer, the tempting aroma of Billy’s own recipe gumbo, this was a deeply funky Mardi Gras down on Nelson Street. Encore won, the Jackson 5’s I Want You Back closed the show. Could this become an annual Mardi Gras booking for the Northern Monkey Brass Band? Watch this space.   
Russell    

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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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