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Bebop Spoken There

Dave Newton: "Having got my Grade 8 pretty early, it was only then that the piano was taking over. But this was happening outside of school really, as the music teacher at this particular school didn't like me or the kind of music I liked." (Jazzwise February 2019).

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Today Tuesday January 22

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jam session - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. House trio: Mark Williams, Paul Grainger, Russ Morgan.

Alter Ego - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB. Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

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

Monday, December 31, 2018

Francis Tulip Quartet @ The Globe Jazz Bar - Dec. 30

Francis Tulip (guitar); Ben Lawrence (piano); Michael Dunlop (bass guitar); Matthew MacKellar (drums).
(Review by Lance/PHOTOS).

I blinked! The downstairs bar of the Jazz Coop HQ was packed wall to wall with bodies eagerly awaiting the opener from the FTQ. I was reminded of photos I'd seen of air raid shelters during WWII and, as the music began, I could have been forgiven for thinking the Luftwaffe had returned. Fortunately, the bombs dropping weren't from Berlin but from Berklee, Mass. Matt MacKellar was back in town!

The young man's technique becomes more and more prodigious with each visit home - by comparision, Art Blakey was a shrinking violet! An extended drum solo on the opening Solar was possibly too much too soon but, nevertheless, the stall was set out.
Or was it? There couldn't have been a greater contrast than with Stars Fell on Alabama. MacKellar on brushes and some juicy chords from Tulip, thoughtful keyboard reflections from Lawrence and a rare bass solo from Dunlop. Tastefully played and yet, somehow, it seemed out of place with this band.
Not so Kenny Dorham's Escapade. The leader let his fingers do the walking or rather the running as did keyboard ace Lawrence - another player whose star is on the rise.

Tulip's provisionally titled Floaty Tune turned out to be an ephemeral, multi-directional piece highlighted by a cymbal solo that was amazingly effective before gradually bringing in bass drum and snare drum leading to the all-out dash for the line.

Michael Dunlop composed Joel's Jingle as a tribute to Joel Brown, the band's previous keyboardist, now carrying out his good work in Senegal. A nice boppy head over a familiar sequence it brought the first half to a close. It had been an enjoyable set although the earth had yet to move.
This would soon change!

And change it did with Airegin. Now a whole different ballgame. Where. earlier, there had been the occasional loose end it was now as tight as tight could be without any loss of freedom. Lawrence could be heard and it was well worth hearing - a worthy replacement for Joel (Airegin being Nigeria spelled backward made me wonder if Joel would compose a tune called Lagenes?)

Mulgrew Miller's Farewell to Dogma saw Tulip in full flight - Birmingham Conservatoire must surely be proud of him.

Benny Golson's Stablemates produced what may have been the solo of the set by Ben Lawrence. It was also when my chair collapsed - the earth was still moving!

Litha (Chick Corea); Tulip's Mr GW and a piece by Matt - was it called Finale? brought the show (almost) to a close. The obligatory encore and Francis Tulip's tune - Visions saw the evening out with a long - and I mean long - solo from MacKellar.

If it wasn't my Gig of this Year - that honour went to the Mingus Big Band - it most certainly would have been in just about any other year.
Lance.
PHOTOS

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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