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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 Sunday March 18


Musicians Unlimited - Park Inn, Park Road, Hartlepool TS26 9HU. Tel: 01429 233126. 12 noon. Free.

Jason Isaacs & the Ambassadors of Swing - Hoochie Coochie, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6SF. Tel: 0191 222 0130. 5:30pm (doors 4:00pm). £16.00.

Revolutionaires - Tyne Bar, Maling St, Newcastle NE6 1LP. 3pm. Free.

Somethin’ Blue - Vesuvio, 3a Houndgate, Darlington DL1 5RL. 5:00pm. Tel: 01325 788564. Matt Case (saxophone) & Mike Hepple (guitar).


POSTPONED DUE TO WEATHER! Zoë Gilby Quartet - Black Bull, Bridge Street, Blaydon NE21 4JJ. 8:00pm. £5.00. Rescheduled August 19.

Alter Ego - The Globe, 11 Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.00.

Bradley Johnston - The Fire Station, High Street West, Sunderland SR1 3DT. Tel: 0191 594 7241. 6:00pm. Free. New weekly residency.

Gypsy Dave Smith - 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.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Gerry Richardson Trio @ The Gala Theatre, Durham - March 9

Gerry Richardson (organ); Rod Sinclair (guitar) & Paul Smith (drums)
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Malcolm Sinclair). 
Sold out. If it’s the Gala’s monthly Friday lunchtime jazz concert take it as read, it’s sold out.* This month’s concert featured Hammond organ master Gerry Richardson. These days the Newcastle-based organist rarely, if ever, takes the big beast on the road. Now, for ease of transportation, his instrument of choice is a Crumar Mojo; lighter, smaller and portable. Otherwise, the sound is much the same. Some of the Gala Theatre’s regular patrons were hearing the Gerry Richardson Trio for the first time – what would they make of it all?
At one point during the one hour set Richardson joked that he would usually be getting out of bed around now. A smokin’ Hammond blues-drenched session is more commonly associated with the late night jazz club gig. In the Gala’s sun-drenched studio theatre high above the Wear the trio hit the ground running with Lou Donaldson’s Alligator Boogaloo. It was noted that some of the Gerry Richardson fan club had made it to Durham, the giveaway being, albeit from a sedentary position, their desire to get down to the rare grooves hitting the floor. Bandleader Richardson’s vocal style owes something to Mose Allison and it was the American’s Everybody Cryin’ Mercy which found resonance with the present day: Everybody’s crying mercy when they don’t know the meaning of the word.
The Gala’s printed programme listed twelve numbers to be performed during the one hour set. It soon became clear that a couple of tunes would need to be jettisoned. Wes Montgomery’s Road Song, ’Spoon’s Money is Getting Cheaper (first released on a Stateside 45) and Oscar Pettiford’s Bohemia After Dark all made the cut, the solos shared between Richardson and long-time friend Rod Sinclair playing his trusty Telecaster. Two highlights of the set, one after the other, were two numbers written by Richardson; All About McGriff (inspired by Jimmy McGriff’s All About my Girl) and a proper, self-pitying saloon bar confessional Think I’ll Lay Waste to Myself Tonight. What a good idea!

Time was pressing which meant it was time for Paul Smith’s party piece. African Sunset (another from the pen of Richardson) featured Smith’s mesmerising drum patterns. At this juncture, a small group of pupils from Bishop Barrington School sitting in the front row sat up and took notice. The mini drum masterclass could well inspire one of these musicians of the future to clock up 10,000 hours in double quick time. It is said by some that it takes ten thousand hours in the woodshed to make it as a musician. Hey kids, it’s time to get cracking!

The Gerry Richardson Trio closed the set with Bobby Hebb’s Sunny. It was noted that some were singing along. The gospel according to the smokin’ Hammond (and its successors)! Job done.        

* April’s concert (Friday 20) will be a guaranteed sell-out. Emma Fisk and James Birkett routinely sell-out gigs wherever they go. Book now on 03000 266 600 or miss out!  

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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.