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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

Nigel Kennedy @ Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Town Hall, May 3.

(Review by Steve T)
I saw Nigel Kennedy at Scarborough a few years back and he did a set of Django - more or less - and a set of Hendrix - more or less. The former was great but the latter was immense.
I generally go to Cheltenham if there are two acts close together in the schedule. The early announcements met that, but the addition of Nigel Kennedy doing Hendrix meant doing more or less the whole festival for the first time ever became a Thing.
£25 membership later and my bass fingers doing the walking at the allotted time, what could possibly go wrong? Initially, there was a suggestion that I may not be telling the whole truth, but once proven by telephone records, my big mistake became that I rang at precisely the moment the tickets went on sale - precisely what I was aiming for - three times. You couldn't make it up but it's their boast that they don't even have a preference for fairness.
As I arrived at the venue I was livid at the sight of literally hundreds and hundreds of people in front of me who phoned the box office after me. But others were livid that he was no longer doing Hendrix; others that he kept swearing, which I hadn't realised was a secret; and others because the audience kept interrupting their concentration by applauding during pieces, though mainly when encouraged from the stage.
The musicianship was extraordinarily, mind-bogglingly stunning, as you'd expect. He makes his violin talk, sing and dance and no doubt, when we're not there, eat, sleep and drink. It seems that any sound imaginable and many unimaginable can come forth from this little man and his little instrument.
Nor does he need to hang out with mediocre musicians; two brilliant guitarists, mostly playing in a Gypsy style, with just a little slide to distinguish between the two; a brilliant upright bass player, and a brilliant cellist duetting with the violin on many of the melodies.
Bach to open, from him unaccompanied, followed by an extended piece from his second favourite composer, surely Vivaldi but no, Kennedy.
He closed the first set with the first from Gershwin – They Can't Take that Away From Me -beginning on piano and he's every bit as good as you'd expect him to be.
Gershwin dominated the second set and would include Rhapsody in (claret) Blue, which I took to be a secret word amongst the rest of the audience, indicating the daft North East lad who rang the Box Office bang on one o’clock and got seats with restricted viewing.
Porgy and Bess I couldn't quite identify, but he described it as a Thing, and Summertime was taken at a slow pace, described as less is less, though the coda hinted at Hendrix.
Lady be Good found them firmly in Gypsy Jazz territory, continued into the encore of Swing 39 morphing into Minor Swing right at the end.
For the second encore, some of us shouted for Hendrix, but they went down a folkie route with a Southern Irish folk tune followed by Danny Boy, some reduced to tears but everybody on their feet for rapturous applause. He left the stage playing I Could Have Danced All Night but returned for more applause.
He's a very special musician. 
Steve T.

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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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