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Bebop Spoken There

Nate Smith: "Record labels, booking agents, management, still can't imagine the drummer as bandleader" - (DownBeat January 2019).

On This Day: December 14

2009: Jim Birkett Trio w. Sue Ferris @ The Cherry Tree.

Today Friday December 14

Afternoon

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free. Xmas party with Gavin Lee added to line-up.

Swing Manouche - Bishop Auckland Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. Tel: 03000 269 524. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Evening

Boys of Brass - George Washington Hotel, Stone Cellar Road, High Heworth, Washington NE37 1PH. Tel: 0191 402 9988. 7:00pm. Xmas party night.

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regents Farm Road, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 284 3700. 8:00pm. £12.00. + bf. First night of two.

Danny Reed - Customs House, Mill Dam, South Shields NE33 1ES. Tel: 0191 454 1234. 7:00pm. £19.95. Xmas swing with Danny Reed.

Classic Swing - Gateshead Fell Cricket Club, Eastwood Gardens, Low Fell NE9 5UB. Tel: 0191 420 0160. 8:00pm. £5.00.

Mike Sanchez & the Portions + Groove-a-matics - The Forum Music Centre, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 363135. 7:30pm. £18.00.

Will Howard Trio - Traveller’s Rest, West Auckland Road, Cockerton, Darlington DL3 9ER. Tel: 01642 468177. 8:30pm. £10.00.

Swamp Hoppers - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

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

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Christian McBride Big Band @ Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Town Hall – May 6.

(Review by Steve T)
I had their album Bringin’ It as one of my picks of last year; an unlikely choice from a self-confessed big band philistine, but I saw McBride with his trio in November and if anybody can make a big band cool it's him. 
The start had a stand-in on bass allowing a big introduction for the leader; apparently common-place in such situations. The band were all in white shirts, perhaps reflecting the weather outside, but McBride remained in a suit throughout.
Trumpet solo followed by Marcus Strickland on tenor, backed by the rest of the horns, followed by trombone, the audience now clapping along, before muted trumpets provided the backing with a short bass burst finishing the piece.

Getting to It he confided was a reworking of James Brown Get it Together, also taken from the Bringin’ It album, as is Youthful Bliss which followed it, featuring solos on soprano and bass.
Texas trumpeter Brandon Lee, formerly with Archie Bell and others, (and soul and funk seemed to be a thread through McBride and the band), pretty much played I Thought About You before Thermo, a Freddie Hubbard piece, written while he was a Jazz Messenger, featured solos on trumpet, tenor and piano. Both pieces are on the album.
The band was then joined onstage by Melissa Walker who sang Herb Albert's Taste of Honey (I thinkfollowed by, what he described as an old American folk song, Mr Bojangles. She's a fine singer but the vocal tracks are my least favourite on the album.
In the Wee Small Hours (on the album) played in the key of B, which apparently makes it very difficult, - attracting charges of crazy string player from brass players - had the leader playing the melody with bowed bass, backed by three flutes. 
He then announced he was going to play some of the dirty F-word funk, claiming hard-core jazzers appreciate it because jazz already has some funk in it. Of course it does, and funk has lots of jazz in it.
George Duke, he announced, was a big influence and mentor and they played his Black Messiah pt 2, speculating it refers to Cannonball Adderley. It featured heavy, pounding bass, solid drumming, lots of piano and a first baritone solo.
I say first but it may also have been last as many, myself included, left for Kamasi Washington at the Big Top, just as Melissa returned to the stage, presumably for Upside Down from the album.
That'll teach them to start late.

Steve T

1 comment :

Steve T said...

I'm reliably informed the bass player who played during McBrides intro was James Owston of Birmingham Conservatoire and can be seen on the photo at the end of the Rob Luft review.

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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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