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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

Rob Luft @ Cheltenham Jazz Festival. The Daffodil, May 4.

Rob Luft (guitar), Joe Wright (sax), Joe Webb (keyboards), Tom McCredie (bass), Mark Michelle (drums).
(Review by Steve T)
This was one of those posh bashes like what Zoe Gilby and Andy Champion played last year or the year before.
Pink sparkling wine on arrival, a tomato cut up with a few salady bits chucked on for starter, sea bass or - if you play the I don't like fish card - chicken in a delectable sauce that Mrs T let me taste, and a very lemony dessert. At £65 a head, do the maths.
A table shared with three other couples could have been tricky but proved to be the best table in the place, so all credit to them including, would you believe, a Chester le Street lad and fellow Old Johnstonian.
As one of the emerging stars of British Jazz, there's lots of pressure on Rob Luft, and comparisons with John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola and Paco De Lucia can only ratchet up the expectation, but confident in his significant ability, he doesn't seem phased at all.
A set I believe taken entirely from his highly recommended debut solo album Riser opened with Beware, allowing saxophonist Joe Wright to take the lead for the first half of the piece before Luft came in with the first of many blistering displays.
There's lots of African influences in his compositions which he's clearly and justifiably proud of, but he must also know his progressive rock and his Jazz-rock, with lots of short, sharp blasts of breath-taking virtuosity worthy of McLaughlin with Miles or Mahavishnu.
It's a measure of how fantastic the line-up at Cheltenham was this year that this gig was opposite Dinosaur at another venue, and with ace drummer Corrie Dick a member of both, it fell to Mark Michelle to dep, and you'd never spot the join.
But the standard of musicianship was top notch all-round, with several on my table singling out Joe Webb on keys, but Rob Luft, along with Dinosaurs Laura Jurd, is one of the young British Jazz musicians to watch.
Incidentally, the jam session at Hotel du Vin later the same night featured Francis Tulip - another up and coming Jazz guitarist - in the house band. 
Steve T.

1 comment :

Steve T said...

The bass player on the photo of the jam session is one James Owston of Birmingham Conservatoire, who got to play Christian McBride's bass as he was introduced at the Town Hall on sunday.

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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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