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Bebop Spoken There

Oscar Peterson: "I find most pianists use too many notes in a chord. They double up an awful lot" - (Crescendo May 1963).

Benny Green (British): "...there was a whole race of men who used to stand in front of their bands, waving their arms, pretending to conduct ... Many of the bandleaders we had worked for had been either crooks or imposters ... " - (Crescendo March 1963).

Today Saturday September 22

Afternoon

Festival of Thrift - Kirkleatham, Redcar, Cleveland TS10 5NW. 10:00am. Line-up

Evening

Emma Fisk & James Birkett - St Cuthbert’s Church, 5 Woodside, Shadforth, Co. Durham DH6 1LD. 7:30pm £10.00 (u16 free) includes finger buffet, BYOB.

Ruby Turner - ARC, Dovecot Street, Stockton on Tees TS18 1LL. Tel: 01642 525199. 8:00pm. £20.00. + £2.00. b/f.

The Hookahs - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

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

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Paul Booth w. Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle - February 17

(Review by Lance).
The Alphabetti Theatre was sardine-can full - standing room only. They couldn't have had a bigger audience if it had been the RSC doing Hamlet with Sir Kenneth Branagh as the Prince of Denmark.
Substitute SSBB for RSC, Paul Booth for Sir Kenneth and As You Like it for Hamlet and the scene is set. This was certainly As WE Like it and the Shakespearean analogy was complete with the gig being promoted by the Jazz Coop whose regular HQ is The Globe.
Act One: 
Scene One.
Mexicali Nose. The Buddy Rich arrangement featured Paul Gowland who reminded us that there was more than one ace tenorman in the room tonight.
My Heart Belongs to Daddy. Alice Grace in good voice despite being slightly under-amplified. Steve Summers on alto.
Scene Two.
Song for AEG. Time for the featured artist, Paul Booth, to take centre stage (actually stage left) and he didn't disappoint on this, a composition by Tom Garling. Great tenor sound with hints of Hank Mobley and early Coltrane. Booth doesn't charge in but paces himself gradually building the tension and culminating with a flurry of notes encompassing the whole natural range of the instrument and beyond into the stratospheric world of harmonics. And this was just the beginning!
Dindi. The Jobim tune rearranged to suit the big band setting - I think Paul said it was originally a string arrangement.
Song for my Father. Apart from Booth who was now firing on all cylinders Michael Lamb and Graham Don made telling contributions to the Horace Silver tune.
Scene Three.
Ozone Friendly. A piece, bandleader Lamb informed us, that he 'borrowed' from trumpet player Bruce Adams after he'd appeared with the band last year. It had some blistering flugel from the leader and tasty keyboard work from Don.
Too Darn Hot. Like Alice, F'reez also had sound problems although what we did hear sounded good.
I'm Just a Shy Guy. Booth joined F'reez for this one and blew some lyrical tenor. There was also a beautifully executed sax passage by the section.
Bounce House. A quirky new addition to the pad that must have been a nightmare to read at first rehearsal! However, come showtime and they had it nailed.
Cross Channel. A Booth original introduced informatively and amusingly. Apart from being a great sax player he also has an engaging personality. Both qualities were well to the fore here.
Planet Thanet. The title refers to his current abode in Kent, several hundred miles from his Co. Durham roots. Soprano on this one. Again a masterclass in playing. Why Paul Booth isn't constantly topping the jazz polls is a mystery and an injustice. Perhaps it's because he's usually touring the world with Stevie Winwood and making money as opposed to playing jazz clubs and winning votes!
Interval.
Time to adjourn to the bar, compare notes and grab a posed photo of Alice, Michael and Paul.
Act Two.
Scene One.
Georgia on my Mind. A surprise opener that soon morphed from a hackneyed standard into a melodic gem with great work not only by our tenor star but also guitarist Pawel J.
 Lush Life. Alice interprets the Strayhorn classic beautifully, not least because the sound has improved. Graham Don tinkles the ivories impressively and our guest once more displays his lyricism.
Girl From Ipanema. A longtime favourite of Paul Booth who goes into Getzian mode. Michael Lamb on flugel.
Calm Now. A PB original that brings Matthew Forster into the reed section on bass clarinet. Solos from guitar and Pete Tanton on flugel.
Is You is or is You Ain't my Baby? F'reez asks the question, Lamb replies with a plunger solo and Summers blows licker stick.
Scene Two.
It's Alright With me. It was alright with Mr PB too who came in after the vocal with a solo that was as near perfection as it was possible to be.
This is Not 4 U. The end was drawing nigh and what better than a flagwaver featuring all the saxes bar baritone. Robinson and Summers said it for the altos, Gowland and Toms let Booth know he wasn't the only tenor player in the house. Booth had to stretch out on this one. The ensuing sax chorus with all six saxes playing was reminiscent of the old Clarke-Boland band that JC recently mentioned.
Finale. 
Metro time was drawing near so I had to position myself near the door ready for a sharp exit and, in doing so, missed the title of what many, myself included, considered the best number of the night.*
Inspired, said Paul, from when he toured with River Dance, the piece was a mix of various world elements and time changes and featured him, not only on soprano but also on Irish whistle. This was as wild a finale as one could imagine and set the seal on what had been a phenomenal evening.
I stayed to the very last bar and still caught the last but one Metro.
A case of All's Well That Ends Well.
Lance.
*Pipe Dream. Thank you David Barnes.
Paul  Booth (tenor/soprano/Irish whistle) + Michael Lamb (md), Pete Tanton, Dick Stacey, Stuart McLean-Fowler (trumpets); Kieran Parnaby, Mark Ferris, David Barnes, Chris Gray (trombones); Steve Summers, Keith Robinson, Jamie Toms, Paul Gowland, Laurie Rangecroft (reeds/flute/clarinet), Matthew Forster (bass clarinet on 1 number)); Graham Don (piano); Pawel Jedrzejewski (guitar); Michael Whent (bass guitar); Guy Swinton (drums); Alice Grace, F'reez (vocals).
SSBB Photos.

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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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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.
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Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance