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Bebop Spoken There

Piers Paul Read: "Bruce Reynolds and Biggs shared an interest in Sex, Jazz and Hemingway." - (The Train Robbers by Piers Paul Read, Coronet Books 1979.)

George Shearing: "Speaking about Johann Sebastian Bach I think he'd be a real jazzer if he were alive today. I mean any man who has two wives, twenty kids, gets kicked out of the church for being too harmonically radical and drinks beer can't be all wrong can he?" - (Crescendo March 1984.)

Submissions for review

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.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance

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Today Tuesday July 17

Afternoon

Classic Swing - The Ship, Front St., Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.

Evening

Northern Monkey Brass Band - Glenholme Park, New Road, Crook DL15 8LN. 6:00-9:00pm. Free. Big BRASS Bash (Durham Brass Festival).

Jam session - Jazz Café, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. Free. House trio: Steve Glendinning, Paul Grainger, Rob Walker.

Francis Tulip Quartet - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB. Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

Reel Brass + Shake ‘Em Up Brass Band - Lanchester, Co. Durham DH7. 6:00-9:00pm. Free. Town centre street performance. Durham Brass Festival (Street Ceilidh).

Hokum Hotshots - Royal Northumberland Yacht Club, South Harbour, Blyth NE24 3PB. 7:00pm. £10.00.

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

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Bass-less fears! The Gala Big Band @ The Gala Theatre, Durham – April 17

(Personnel to follow - maybe)
(Review by Jerry)
The annual big-bash for this estimable community band was late getting started – the bass guitar “had imploded” (?) just before curtain-up so the stressed guitarist rushed off home (?) to repair/replace the offending instrument. Problems for the MD who likened the bass in a band to the goalie in football – you hardly notice them when things are going well but when things go wrong you realise how important they are!
After a delay, and still bass-less, they launched into Strike Up the Band and Bye Bye Blackbird featuring a piano solo by Ben Lawrence. There were no own-goals conceded before the bassist appeared, stage left and panting, and order was almost restored in the rhythm section in time for Alex Kennedy to step up from the drums and give us the vocals on Almost Like Being in Love.
I say “almost restored” because the empty drum-seat had now to be filled by the MD himself, who freely admits this is not his forte but, once again, no own goals were conceded. The opening lyrics: “What a day this has been…” must have struck a chord with both bassist and MD! Alex Kennedy followed up with I’ve Got You Under My Skin and, in the second set gave us Come Fly with Me, so Paul Edis got in plenty of drumming practice! He must have been happy with it as he volunteered for more in the finale (see below)!

We had a solo piano “world premiere” of a recently composed Edis’ original, Of Mice and Men, which had nothing to do with the Steinbeck novel but did have some echoes of Three Blind Mice and “influences from American folk-music”. I thought I heard more gospel than folk in the opening and closing sections which were both quiet and gentle compared to the left-hand, bass-heavy mid section. Another good tune, anyway, hopefully earmarked for a third solo CD.

Aside from the above it was all a big-band instrumental mix of great standards and Edis originals. In the Mood was a blast as always and saw the return of the hats in the trumpet section – as welcome as the first swallows of summer! Satin Doll was smooth and polished and April in Paris featured “Pop-goes-the-weasel” trumpet and a series of “fake-endings” catching out all those eager to applaud!
Prelude and Funk typified the challenging music the MD puts before both Jambone, for whom this was originally written, and the Gala Big Band. It opens with the horns (Prelude?) before drum, bass and guitar inject the funk. There was jazz flute from the MD, too. A great closer to the first set.  Diminishing Returns, a blues, featured solos from Matthew Downey on guitar and Bob Howe on alto sax as well as more flute from its composer.

Earlier, Mikey Samba , a happy, driving tune (Nissan Micra inspired, bizarrely!) featured trumpet and guitar solos and was a complete contrast with the tune which followed, Too Sad for Words. This last is a quiet ballad full of long, low notes for the brass which produced a beautiful, haunting effect (my wife’s words, not mine). Technically, I assume, very challenging for the players and brilliantly done.
The penultimate number was Neal Hefti’s beautiful L’il Darlin, featuring a fine muted trumpet solo from Dave Skipsey. An excellent arrangement of Watermelon Man (apologies, I can’t remember by whom it was arranged) closed proceedings with a “four-handed” percussion intro as the band leader grabbed 2 sticks and briefly joined Alex Kennedy on the drums. There were solos including tenor sax and guitar and oodles of high-energy ensemble playing contributing to a rousing finale.
Overall, despite a worrisome start for all concerned, a really enjoyable gig.
Jerry

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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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