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Bebop Spoken There

Lionel Loueke: "A mistake is just for the moment - make it the best mistake it can be, and that's it" - (JazzTimes, April 2019).

Archive

Today Thursday April 25

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Tees Valley Jazzmen - The Merry Monk, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 12:30pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Eliot Smith Dance: Triple Bill - Newbiggin Maritime Centre, Church Point, Newbiggin by the Sea NE64 6DB. Tel: 01670 811951. 7:30pm. £14.00. (£12.00. concs., £30.00. family). Performance inc Poppy (music composed by Jason Holcomb).

Julija Jaceniate Trio Black Swan, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 261 5618. 8:00pm. £6.00. (£5.00. concs). Jacenaite (vocals), Steve Glendinning (guitar), Paul Grainger (double bass).

Paul Skerritt Band - The Pennyweight, Bakehouse Hill, Darlington DL1 5QA. Tel: 01325 468411. 8:00pm. Free.

Paul Donnelly Quartet - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free. Tees Hot Club: Dormans Jazz Festival.

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

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

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Durham Brass Festival: James Morrison Quartet @ Gala Theatre - January 16.

James Morrison (trumpet/trombone/flugel/piano); William Morrison (guitar); Harry Morrison (bass); Patrick Danao (drums).
(Review by Lance).
Another knockout Durham Brass Festival concert. This time by the amazingly gifted Australian multi-instrumentalist James Morrison.
Morrison, accompanied by sons William and Harry along with super drummer Danao blew trumpet à la Dizzy, trombone with the rapid technique of JJ and, on piano, just about outran Peterson.
A Beautiful Friendship began soft and gentle,  treating the ballad with the respect it deserves. A nice solo from his number 2 son William on guitar before James exploded reaching Dizzy heights and beyond. We also got a taster of Danao's drums.
In the Silence of the Night, a composition by William featured his pop on a most unusual instrument.
Difficult to make out from where I was sitting. It could be a rotary valved flugelhorn or some kind of bass trumpet. It had the mellifluous sound of a flugel but maybe it was a hybrid James himself had designed.
Autumn Leaves was a bit of a curate's egg for me. James was now on trombone and he played a longish opening cadenza blowing three notes at once which, as everyone knows, is impossible unless you have a forked-tongue or you're James Morrison. All clever stuff but I was more comfortable hearing him play straight - what a great tone! The trio had an interesting chorus or six where they went into a baroque mode.
The Battle Hymn of the Republic or John Brown's Body saw James move to the piano to demonstrate how any song can become a jazz song. This amazing man then ran the gamut of the Oscar Peterson Book of Licks with maybe a touch of Waller and Tatum thrown in for good measure.
To finish off the set we had Bourbon St. Parade and this time the inspiration was good old Satchmo with Danao bringing Baby Dodds into the 21st Century.
Out in the foyer, it seemed as though every other person was a trumpet player - no surprise there!
Back inside, blissfully ignorant of the darkening clouds outside, we enjoyed an in-depth description of Erroll Garner's technique on piano followed by a hands-on display of how the great man (Erroll) might play Deep Purple.
There is no Greater Love brought Danao's brushwork to the fore whilst, getting back to Garner, saw James and William on trombone and guitar respectively play a lush version of Misty.
A jazzed-up piano blast on Chopsticks (I think) then more three note exhibitionism on Things Ain't What They Used to be. The encore was a slow Blues in G that brought the show to a close.
I've no doubt missed some of the finer points out but, with so much happening on stage in a pitch-black auditorium making notes was difficult.
I have, unforgivably, made little mention of Harry Morrison. Not only is he a stellar lynchpin and soloist but also the foil for much of James' humour.
Like Gunhild Carling, here last Friday, James Morrison sees jazz, not only as art but also as entertainment and he too scores heavily in both departments.
The standing ovation at the end was, after such a show, almost a foregone conclusion.
What wasn't a foregone conclusion was the weather that awaited us as we made to leave.
It thundered, it lightninged, in a matter of minutes the streets of Durham were awash. A few had brollies but most did not. A poster advertised a forthcoming movie - Swimming With Men - was this the premiere? Eventually, I made it to the underground car park for a drive home that was, to say the least, frightening.
Would I do it all again?
To hear the James Morrison Quartet the answer is YES! Most definitely.
Lance.

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