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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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Apologies for any inconvenience, this is due to circumstances beyond my control.

Today Saturday July 21

Afternoon

Women Play Jazz! Workshop - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 2:00pm. £25.00. (£22.50. Jazz Co-op shareholder) payable in advance. Tutor: Jilly Jarman.

Michael Woods - Garden Village Association, Rosewood Avenue, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 5DD. From 1:00pm. Summer Party & Barbecue.

Jambone with Laura Jurd - Gala Theatre, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. Tel: 03000 266 600. 12 noon. Durham Brass Festival. Free.

Mississippi Dreamboats - Blackett St., Newcastle NE1 7BS. 3 x 30 min. sets (11:30am/1:45pm/4:30pm). Free.

Jazz - Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG inc Alter Ego (1:00pm), Vieux Carré Jazzmen (3:00pm).

Evening

Northern Monkey Brass Band - Wharton Park, Durham DH1 4UF. 6:00-9:00pm. Free. Streets of Brass (Durham Brass Festival)

Davina & The Vagabonds – Sage Gateshead, St. Mary’s Sq., Gateshead Quays NE8 2JR. 10:30pm. 18:80. Full Americana program.

Francis Tulip Quartet - Zeffirellis , Compston Rd., Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 9AD. 8:30 pm Free

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

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Darlington Jazz Festival: Matt Roberts Sextet @ Voodoo Café - May 4

Matt Roberts (trumpet); Riley Stone-Lonergan (tenor saxophone); George Grant (alto saxophone); Chris Eldred (piano); Daisy George (double bass); Sam Gardner (drums)
(Review by Russell) 
Every year a handful of gigs are eagerly anticipated by your reviewer – Vasilis Xenopoulos playing the Traveller’s Rest in Darlington and Blaydon’s Black Bull, the Strictly Smokin’ Big Band’s sell out  ‘big name’ concerts, and, during the Darlington Jazz Festival, the returning trumpeter Matt Roberts playing a hometown gig above the Voodoo Café on Skinnergate. Friday evening’s 'Jazz After Dark' concert featured Roberts’ brilliant, youthful sextet playing the music of Kenny Dorham.

This year’s edition of Matt Roberts’ band wrought no fewer than four changes in personnel. The in-demand Leo Richardson couldn’t make it as his star is in the ascendant following the release of his album The Chase and his busy itinerary simply couldn’t accommodate Darlington. Roberts thought about it for a second before giving fellow Leeds College of Music graduate Riley Stone-Lonergan a call. A good choice, RSL was in fine form when heard recently in Durham. Pianist Chris Eldred was another obvious first call. With a cv including gigs with John Dankworth, Jean Toussaint and Bobby Wellins, appearances at Ronnie’s, the Bull’s Head and Soho’s Pizza Express, and a long tenure as pianist with NYJO, Eldred would surely cut it. 
The bass and drums working on this 2018 festival gig were well known and not so well known. Drummer Sam Gardner played this gig two or three years ago and as another LCoM graduate is no stranger to the regional jazz scene. The one name not so well known was double bass player Daisy George. In her final year at the Royal Academy of Music, Daisy, as of Friday, is your reviewer’s new favourite bass player! The one survivor from last year’s line-up, alto saxophonist George Grant, stood to Roberts’ right, just as he did last year, ready to rip it up.

The annual ‘Jazz After Dark’ gig guarantees a full house and this year wasn’t any different. Family, friends, fans, they were out in force to welcome home one of their own. Matt Roberts, now wearing spectacles to read the charts (at the grand old age of thirty-ish!), greeted all and sundry, eventually making it to the stand ready to play some Kenny Dorham. Una Mas for openers, Poetic Spring from Blue Spring (Dorham’s album with Cannonball Adderley) following up, this 2018 edition of Robert’s amazing band was up and running, firing on all cylinders. Trumpeter Roberts led the way; the blue touch paper lit, the slow burn solo, the fireworks. RSL and Grant stood either side of the Main Man smiling, weighing up their options, confident they would match Robert’s opening joust. The rhythm section purred, then purred some more with Eldred supplying the chords as Sam Gardener played better than ever – at one point Roberts effusive about the drummer’s ‘hard-bop chops’ – and then there’s our undergraduate, Daisy George. Simply wonderful, in-the-pocket bass playing, often with eyes closed, very much into it all as her bandmates looked on with no little admiration. It’s difficult to believe this was Daisy’s first gig with Matt’s band!  

On more than one occasion Roberts drew on Joe Henderson (Recorda Me) and from Whistle Stop, Dorham’s 1961 Blue Note album, Philly Twist and later in the set, Buffalo. Robert’s sextet exploited these numbers to the full – killer frontline solos, a cookin’ rhythm section – at one point prompting Roberts to joke that the positive audience response was down to his immaculate transcriptions!

During the interval the band went to the bar, some stepped outside to take the air, and after a while the Matt Roberts Sextet reconvened, drinks in hand, ready to play some more Kenny Dorham.
Band leader Roberts, playing his Yamaha ‘Bobby Shew’ trumpet, hit the ground running, firing from the first note on Straight Ahead as the engine room once again stoked the hard bop fires and again on the aforementioned Buffalo. George Grant weighed in on alto as the band first played Afrodisia, then it was the turn of Riley Stone-Lonergan to knock out another big tenor solo. The frontline took the majority of the solos but the rhythm section grabbed its share; pianist Chris Eldred dazzled, as did bassist Daisy George, and drummer Sam Gardner played better than ever – and that’s saying something! As the evening neared its end at way past eleven o’clock Joe Henderson’s album In ‘n Out offered Roberts the pick, choosing first Brown’s Town (featuring RSL, Eldred and George) and later Short Stay. Matt Roberts’ annual gig is a sure-fire winner and they’ll do it all again next year! 
Russell.                   


1 comment :

Patti said...

As Mr Reviewer says in his own inimitable way - this was one stonkingly brilliant gig, from start to finish ..... it was possible to get really close to the band, and it's always a joy to see fantastic musicians enjoying their gig as much as this appreciative audience member!

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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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