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Bebop Spoken There

Dennis Lichtman: "You can be as nerdy and intricate as you want. But if the rhythm section is thumping, any schmo can walk in off the street and be moved by it." - (DownBeat, December 2018).

Today Saturday November 17

Afternoon

?????

Evening

Blue Jazz Quintet - St George’s Church, St George’s Close, Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2TF. Tel: 0191 281 1659. 7:00pm.

World of Brass In Concert - - Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4666. 7:00pm. £26.20., £19.60., £10.90. concert featuring Fodens, Matthew Ford (vocals) & Mike Lovatt (trumpet) in a Sinatra-themed show.

Forever the Beat of the Drum: Mark Jon Bolderson Percussion Foundation - Queen’s Hall, Beaumont St, Hexham NE46 3LS. Tel: 01434 652477. 7:30pm. £15.00. Annual fundraising concert. Line-up inc. Tyne Valley Big Band & Tyne Valley Junior Big Band.

Ray Stubbs R&B All Stars + Mitch Laddie & friends - The Peacock, High St West, Sunderland SRI 3ES. Tel: 0191 511 1451. 8:00pm. £10.00. Blues.

Teresa Watson Band - 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.

Monday, April 09, 2018

GIJF Day 3: Georgie Fame w. Guy Barker Big Band - Sage Gateshead, April 8.

(Review by Lance/Photo Courtesy/copyright of William Ellis)
As John Cumming of Serious said when introducing the final Sage One concert of the Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2018, "Georgie Fame was the 1960's pop star who most combined jazz and the pop music of the day" (or words to that effect) and I had to agree with him which was why I was eagerly sitting in Row S awaiting the appearance of the 74-year-old, still swinging (we hoped), superstar.
We weren't disappointed. He may have shuffled on like a man in the September of his years but the voice was still in midsummer. It was Yeh Yeh it was, which was the opening number.
This was better than the 1964 chart-topping single - this one had an extended tenor solo by Paul Booth.
The lyric to Yeh Yeh was by Jon Hendricks who was never far away spiritually. Hendricks also provided the vocalese lyric to Sometimes I'm Happy which was based on a Lester Young solo.
Screamin' Jay Hawkins' I Put a Spell on You had Fame reminiscing about Radio Caroline and meeting The Animals when they first came down to London. Strangely, given that he was in the northeast, he made no reference to the duo he formed with Alan Price some years later. Graeme Blevins blew cool tenor on this one.
Harry South arranged Basie's Little Pony with, once again, Hendricks supplying the words to the Wardell Gray tenor solo. Sammy Mayne had a blast on alto.
Guy Barker had certainly put together an all-star crew and guitarist Jim Mullen was featured on a Fame original, Blues at the Bull (Barnes). Despite recent ill-health (I'm told), Jim was in fine form and, on his day, there's none better - this was his day. Barnaby Dickinson also kicked in.
The star edged Jim Watson off the piano stool for an original, rather beautiful, ballad - I'll Sing You. GASbook material if ever there was, sung in a voice that has lost none of its once youthful charm. Gardner-Bateman on alto and a chorus or two of Jumping With Symphony Sid didn't do any harm either.
Cool Cat Blues and more tenor from that coolest of cats Paul Booth.
The LHR/Basie songbook provided Down for the Count and Blues Backstage (Blevins tenor). Interval time. A brief hello/handshake with Paul Booth. Some BSH PR work by Tony Eales with a couple from Darlo and a chance to gloat over the GBBB personnel with Russell and Patti.
Back into Sage One and an original entitled Vinyl which recalled memories, not only of the comeback kid format - AKA LP - but also of Ray's Jazz Record Shop in London.
Although the music up to now had been unashamedly jazz I still wasn't sure if it was a jazz or a pop audience. I got the answer when the unmistakable intro to The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde brought in that  1967 hit. Poppers would have applauded upon recognition whereas jazzers would save their applause for the solos - it was a jazzers' night!
Like Yeh Yeh this was even better than the original. Apart from the song I love the narrative lyric: Bonnie and Clyde got to be Public Enemy Number One, Running and hiding from every American lawman's gun etc."
And so the night rocked on. Everyone having a ball. A few memories about the late Steve Gray from Middlesbrough who collaborated with Fame on several projects. A song called Will Carling so named because it sounded a bit like Li'l Darlin' and a musical, Singer, based around Madeline Bell.
Papa's Got a Brand New Bag had Booth and Blevins in a two-tenor madness lift-off whilst City Life had some blistering trumpet from Tom Rees-Roberts.
Declaration of Love was so romantic and the final Rockin' Chair saw Georgie Fame alone at the piano as, one by one, the band packed up and left.
Stage-managed, I know, but still quite poignant.
An evening to remember what with Sheila Jordan in the afternoon, Georgie Fame in the evening and The House of the Black Gardenia in between it had been a Day to Remember!
Oh and yes, before Georgie Fame appeared, the GBBB gave an inspired performance of a Basie/Hefti style arrangement of I Can't Stop Loving You - and neither can we stop loving Georgie, Guy and the band!
Come back again soon.
Lance.
Georgie Fame (vocal/piano); Guy Barker (trumpet/MD); Nathan Bray, Tom Rees-Roberts, Pat White (trumpets); Winston Rollins, Barnaby Dickinson, Nichol Thomson, Mark Frost (trombones); Sammy Mayne, James Gardner-Bateman (altos); Graeme Blevins, Paul Booth (tenors); Colin Skinner (baritone); Jim Watson (piano); Alec Dankworth (bass); Jim Mullen (guitar); James Powell (drums).

1 comment :

foss7452 said...

Totally agree Lance,a fantastic night. If there's a cooler 70 something guy in the world I'd be amazed. What a tremendous singer . You tend to forget how good some of the old guys are but Mr Fame underlined the ability it takes to sustain a very high level of musicality and singing
An all star band produced some terrific solos. Jim Mullen played an excellent solo as well
John Forster.

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About this blog - contact details.

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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