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Bebop Spoken There

Joey Calderazzo: "Playing the standard repertoire is a pretty good barometer of where one is as a jazz musician" - (DownBeat January 2019).

Today Wednesday December 19

Afternoon

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £1.00.

Jools Holland’s R&B Orchestra - Newcastle City Hall, Northumberland Road, Newcastle NE1 8SF. Tel: 0844 811 2121. 7:30pm. £45.50. & £34.00. First night of two.

Community Hall New Orleans Band - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Road, Springwell, Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm £3.00.

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson Street, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8:30pm. Free.

George Shovlin & The Radars - Charts, Quayside, Newcastle NE1 3DX. Tel: 0191 338 7989. 8:00pm. Free.

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

Friday, May 18, 2018

Ada Francis: Final Year Undergraduate Recital @ The Boiler House, Newcastle University - May 17

Ada Francis (voice, Celtic harp) accompanied by Ben Richardson (keyboards); Luke Gaul (bass); Harry Still (drums); Alex de Alfaro (guitar); Megan Savage (vocals); Frankie Hay (vocals)
(Review by Russell) 
Her big day had finally arrived. Ada Francis sound checked right up to the last minute. After years of study, the softly spoken Scot surrounded herself with fellow student musicians. A large audience of family and friends materialised minutes before the scheduled five-thirty start. Examiners seated at the back of the room, her time had come…

Newcastle University’s final year undergraduate music recitals were in full swing at several campus locations; King’s Hall, the Recital Room and here at the recently opened Boiler House performance space. Some students drew the short straw – 9:30am can’t be the best time of day to perform, Ada hit lucky with her five-thirty time slot. On a sunny late afternoon, the recently converted boiler house (‘industrial chic’ the look) would forever be a fond memory for the soon-to-graduate Ada Francis.
Minutes before Ada’s performance was due to start your correspondent said hello to her tutor. Yes, Ada’s vocal coach is none other than Ruth Lambert. If Ada didn’t know it – she probably didn’t – to have Ms. Lambert in your corner all but guarantees success! Ada began her recital with Red, Red Rose. Singing and playing the harp, our examinee introduced Robert Burns’ poem as a part of her folk upbringing. And speaking of Ms. Lambert, Ada chose to sing Agua de Beber accompanied by a fine student rhythm section comprising Ben Richardson, piano, Luke Gaul, bass, and Harry Still on drums. These guys are three-quarters of Ida’s Italics, a gigging student band, the other being tenor player Jimmy Jefford and he was just about front row, he wouldn’t have missed this for the world.        
A recital should examine all aspects of a student’s study. Highlights shouldn’t come into it, but hey, Bebop Spoken Here was here for the ‘gig’ element and an undoubted highlight featured the duo of Ada and Ben, our singer insisting You’ve Changed. It wasn’t late night, hardly a jazz club setting, yet Ada put her heart and soul into it accompanied by Ben’s sensitive piano playing. The examiner couldn’t be anything other than impressed. Ada spoke of her delight in discovering the GASbook – so, her time at university has been well worth it! Our examinee thanked her bandmates for giving their time to rehearsals as she took them on a Juan Tizol/Duke Ellington Caravan journey. Clearly, a lot of thought had gone into the arrangement and it was evident that Ada had the stage presence to look around the room and engage with the audience. And the audience was definitely on side. If the examiner was in any doubt (unlikely) we were listening to an accomplished performer the huge volume of applause couldn’t have done any harm!
Guitarist Alex de Alfaro joined Ada to play Lush Life as a duo. Further confirmation that Ada was on her way to top marks! As a penultimate selection, an original composition – Ada forgot to announce the title! – featured not only the Italics but Ada’s backing singers Megan Savage (herself under the scrutiny of the examiners earlier in the day) and Frankie Hay. Ada Francis concluded her recital on good form playing one of her long-time favourite contemporary pop songs. An enjoyable afternoon – for the audience at least! – which Ada Francis is sure to relive many times. 
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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