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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.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Remi Harris Trio @ The Jazz Café, Newcastle - May 2

Remi Harris (guitars,  ukulele); Caley Groves (rhythm guitar); Mike Green (double bass)
(Review by Russell)
Some eagerly anticipated gigs meet or exceed expectations and this first Newcastle appearance by Remi Harris ticked every box. Guitarist Harris arrived in good time with rhythm guitarist Caley Groves, bassist Mike Green and tour manager Dani Harris. The trio set up, sound checked, then, perhaps, went for a wander. Whatever their pre-gig routine they were on the premises in time for the first of two sets beginning at eight o’clock.
The upstairs room of the Jazz Café on Pink Lane proved the ideal space; Remi’s array of guitars (see photos) sparkled under the stage lights as the trio relaxed on sofas (Caley and Mike), Remi preferring a basic chair and, perhaps tellingly, with guitar in hand. One imagines that our guitarist from rural Worcestershire is rarely without one of his guitars. Is he a guitar obsessive? Probably! This would go some way in explaining the remarkable talent of a young man who appeared to be rather shy and for the first twenty minutes or so Harris let his guitar do the talking for him.
 
Introductions would follow but for now, the music spoke; a few bars of All the Things You Are then into Can’t Buy Me Love. Harris is known as a ‘Hot Cub’ or ‘gypsy jazz’ guitarist, yet there is more, much more to him than that. Yes, Django is a key figure, as is Wes Montgomery, and a mean low down blues is in Harris’ locker, as is a ukulele! Caravan’s double swing time sections – Caley and Mike were all over it – showcased the trio’s near-telepathic understanding, scarcely a glance such was the trust between them. Remi conjured – it was as if by magic – an amazing intro to Pennies from Heaven and, as we were to discover, he has a penchant for a fleeting quote, on this number Percy Grainger’s Country Gardens. The Meters’ Cissy Strut worked well alongside Nature Boy (the latter featuring one of many fine solos from accomplished bassist Mike Green) as Remi switched from his beautiful Maccaferri (obtained from a luthier in Cumbria, rhythm guitarist Caley acquired his own equally fine Maccaferri in Paris) to powder blue Strat to a twelve string to a Les Paul for a Peter Green homage playing Need Your Love So Bad.

From time to time Harris utilised a pedal board to good effect yet it was his sheer virtuosity which transfixed an attentive audience. The setlist was in the heads of all three musicians, a written setlist wasn’t required and the breadth of material was no doubt designed to maintain interest – their interest and that of the audience. More from the Fab Four – Here, There and Everywhere – and a quite amazing ukulele/double bass rendition of All of Me and as the evening progressed the main man opened up to the audience talking about his many guitars (the Jazz Café resembled a guitar shop…home from home for Remi as he used to work in one!) and the development of his chosen instrument. Remi name-checked French guitarist Dorado Schmitt suggesting he was an important bridge between Django’s era and the many Hot Club guitarists of today. Fittingly the Remi Harris Trio played Bossa Dorado.
There was so much brilliant guitar playing; Freddie King, a fleeting quote from early Led Zeppelin, Wes Montgomery (tellingly Remi said he would take Wes to his desert island) and of course there was Django Reinhardt. Tyneside has waited a long time to hear Remi Harris, let’s hope he returns
before long.                       
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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