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Bebop Spoken There

Jeremy Pelt: "In my experience, the hottest player on the scene is almost always the most annoying motherfucker on the scene because they know that they're hot." - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Sunday May 19

Afternoon

Jazz

Anth Purdy: Swing Jazz Guitar - Blyth Battery, The Links, Blyth NE24 3PQ. 10:00am-4:00pm. Free. 'Blyth Battery Goes to War Weekend'.

Vieux Carré Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. Free.

Musicians Unlimited - Park Inn, Park Road, Hartlepool TS26 9HU. Tel: 01429 233126. 1:00pm (doors 12 noon). Free.

Alice Grace & Ben Helm - Bonbar, Fenkle St., Newcastle NE1 5XU. Tel: 0191 232 8695. 1:30pm.

Jazz Social - Charts, Quayside, Newcastle NE1 3DX. Tel: 0191 338 7989. 4:00pm. Free. Jam session with house trio (James Harrison, piano).

Blues

Memphis Cruisers - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 3:00pm. Free.

Archie Brown & the Young Bucks - The Schooner, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3AF. 5:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Sue Ferris Quintet - Black Bull, Bridge St., Blaydon NE21 4JJ. Tel: 0191 414 2846. 7:30pm. £7.00. Blaydon Jazz Club.

Philip Clouts Quartet - The Globe, Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £10.00 (£7.00 student).

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

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Bitches Brew @ The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle – Nov. 4

Emma Smith & Signy Jakobsdottir: 
Emma Smith (double bass); Signy Jakobsdottir (percussion).
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Clíona Cassidy & George Burt:
Cliona Cassidy (voice); George Burt (guitar).
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J Frisco: 
Lara Jones (soprano sax); Jemma Freese (keyboards, vocals)
(Review by Steve H.) 

Bitches Brew was set up by bass player Emma Smith to showcase female instrumentalists - a much unsung group of musicians. For several years now, Jazz North East has been delivering a very successful ‘Woman Make Music’  series of gigs (in conjunction with the PRS foundation) so it was a natural fit that these two positive forces should finally come together at The Bridge on Sunday night.

The opening set featured Cassidy on voice and Burt on guitar so this appears to immediately contradict both of the statements I made in my introduction about the ethos of Bitches Brew. Firstly, what was a man doing in the lineup and secondly what was a vocalist doing partnering said male? Fortunately, Smith explained all in her introductions. Firstly, it is not a gender-exclusive project and secondly, since Cassidy uses her voice in such an extraordinary manner it should be classed as a musical instrument rather than a deliverer of lyrics.  I couldn’t but endorse those sentiments as a marvellous innovative and creative set of music was delivered.

Burt is a superb improvising guitarist constantly changing mood and accent and this, coupled with Cassidy’s remarkable operatic voice, produced both auditory fireworks and fascinating tranquil passages. A brilliant combination enthusiastically appreciated by the audience.

The middle part of the evening was provided by J Frisco who are a trio although on both occasions that I have seen them they have been a duo - saxophonist Lara Jones being the only constant. Their music is based on life experiences and they aim to incorporate all of the incidental sounds in the room (eg. glasses clinking, doors squeaking etc.). I think their aim is to take one on a journey and, being in The Bridge, one is certainly reminded of travelling as the trains going to and fro the Central Station can frequently be seen passing the window (a feature of this venue that I always enjoy). Anyway, I’m not sure of how much of a spiritual journey I went on but Jemma Freese and Lara Jones provided a very enjoyable electronically influenced ambient set.

The final set of the evening saw Bitches Brew curator Smith team up with percussionist  Jakobsdottir and what a wonderful treat it turned out to be. Jakobsdittor played a Kalimba on a loop whilst producing amazing sounds on a wide range of instruments. Meanwhile, Smith, on bass, dovetailed with her perfectly.

Sometimes you can go to an art gallery that has fantastic art but the walls are so overcrowded it is hard to appreciate what’s on offer. The same can often happen with musicians who feel obliged to fill any gap. Smith and Jakobsdottir left enough room for the audience to be able to fill the spaces for themselves and let them embrace the entire performance without having to sift through any clutter – simply mesmerising.
At the conclusion of the evening, the first two persons I spoke to summed it up with a single word -'beautiful’. I couldn’t have put better myself.
Steve H.

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