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Bebop Spoken There

John Medeski: "Like Mingus or Ellington, he [John Zorn] pulls people out of their zones and encourages them to do more than they would do on their own." - (DownBeat, December 2018).

Today Tuesday November 20

Afternoon

Classic Swing - The Ship, Front St., Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.

Evening

?????

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

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Curtis Stigers @ Sage Gateshead - Nov. 5

Curtis Stigers (vocals/tenor); John 'Scrapper' Sneider (trumpet); Robin Aspland (piano); Cliff Schmitt (bass); Paul Wells (drums).
(Review by Lance/photo from BSH archives).
There are two views when it comes to a Stigers gig. Some say he offers variety whilst others claim he has too many hats and not enough heads!
The evidence suggests that both factions are right which may be why the latter opinionists stayed away for this wasn't the best attended of the 3 or 4 Stigers' concerts I've seen. I remember that at one of his earlier concerts a girl sitting next to me said to her boyfriend "I hope he isn't going to sing jazz all night." He didn't so, presumably, she went home satisfied.

Let's look at those hats.
1) Stigers the rocker.
2) Stigers the jazzman.
3) Stigers the singer of show tunes on 'The Proms'.
4) Stigers the crooner.

With the exception of no. 3 he more or less ticked all of the boxes,
His early hits were given the standard recognition of opening bars applause.
He blew some fine walkin' the bar, Big Easy style, tenor and his running mates were no slouches either - more of those relatively unsung heroes later.
He mercifully stayed away from the show tunes which brings us to Stigers the crooner.

His latest CD was recorded live with the Danish Radio Big Band and was a recreation of the legendary Sinatra/Basie at the Sands sessions and I think many (Team Bebop included) expected we were going to get more of the same as it was his current CD. In retrospect, how could we have been so naive as to expect a two-piece frontline to replicate the guys from Copenhagen let alone the full might of Basie's band!
As it was, he sang Fly me to the Moon from the album and it was ok.

Other gassers included an impressive rendition of My Funny Valentine - unlike most Valentiners he injected some powerful dynamics into this most maudlin of songs. Hooray For Love reminded us that Yip Harburg wrote some good songs, You Don't Know What Love is was suitably poignant and Bye Bye Blackbird swung us into the Randy Newman encore. 

Contemporary material included pieces by Tom Waites, Bob Dylan, Mose Allison, Willie Dixon and the Randy Newman tear jerker to close.

However, for me, the highlights were Stigers' earthy tenor,  Robin Aspland's piano, drummer Wells' solos and support, the effective bass/vocal moments and the unlikely named Scrapper Schneider on trumpet. Closing my eyes, I was hearing Roy Hargrove again - the same clear sound. Paradoxically, 'Scrapper' is from Brockton, Mass, the same city that undefeated heavyweight champ, the late Rocky Marciano, came from. Perhaps that's how he got the name! Scrapper may never make The Ring ratings but he sure deserves to be in the DownBeat ones.

The standing ovation at the end was probably deserved and, although I didn't stand up myself, I did applaud heartily.
Lance. 

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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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Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
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Lance