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Bebop Spoken There

Billy Eckstine: "I'm a negro performer with a Jewish name." [after being asked what his golf handicap was] - (Mr B by Cary Ginell. Hal Leonard Books 2013 January 2019).

Today Wednesday December 12

Afternoon

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free.

Jess Johnson - Park Hotel, Grand Parade, Tynemouth NE30 4ER. Tel: 0191 295 6666. 12 noon. £65.00. & £29.95. Xmas lunch.

Evening

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £1.00.

Folk and Acoustic - The Globe, 11 Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. Free.

Jam session - Dun Cow, Brandling Village, Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 4RS. Tel: 0191 338 7981. 8:00pm. Free. House trio: Mark Williams, Andy Champion, Russ Morgan.

Community Hall New Orleans Band - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Road, Springwell, Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm £3.00.

Swing Street - Pier Red, Castlegate, Berwick upon Tweed TD15 1LF. Tel: 01289 309168. 8:00pm. Free.

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson Street, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8:30pm. Free.

Blues - Charts, Quayside, Newcastle NE1 3DX. Tel: 0191 338 7989. 8:00. Free.

Big Mellis Mini Band - Sage Gateshead, St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. From 7:00pm. Future Grooves (Music degree students). Multi bill, Sage Two. £5.00.

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

Monday, December 03, 2018

Headhunters @ Sage Gateshead - December 2

Donald Harrison (alto/vocal); Bill Summers (perc/vocal); Jerry Z (keys); Mike Clark (drums).
(Review by Lance/photos courtesy of Russell).

I'm going to use that well-known cop-out - a Curates Egg. There were many highs and no lows but, there were also a few in-betweens that verged on the boring.

The highs, and they were very high indeed, included Harrison's alto solos which were as good as, if not even better, than when I first heard him with Blakey's Jazz Messengers a thousand years ago (actually about 30 years ago!). A spiky player to rate alongside anyone you care to mention.

Mike Clark is a phenomenal drummer. However, these days, it seems as though just about every drummer from the grassroots upwards has an amazing technique so why does Clark stand above the rest? Feeling, the ability to listen and to drop his bombs on target and not in the middle of the ocean.

I expected more from Jerry Z. He didn't get that B3 sound and needed more volume in his solos. Nevertheless, a stellar performance.

Bill Summers entertained us with his patter and his solos on an assortment of percussion instruments.

So why bring in the Curate's breakfast? Good question but, enjoyable as it was, it didn't quite make the earth move for me. At times it had an almost Smooth Jazz feeling and the finale with Harrison vocalising on Kongo Square (spelling from the CD that many of the numbers came from) left me cold although, in fairness, the rest of the room was on their feet happily engaging in a call and response session.

I left before the encore which Russell tells me was a Monk tune. I should have stayed - it could have lifted it from a 7-star to an 8-star review.
Lance

2 comments :

Russell said...

Agree 100% with your review. Early on the fine line between in-the-pocket groove and smooth jazz was in danger of being blurred but thankfully Clark found a groove and didn't let go. Harrison quoted Ellington and Dizzy (Manteca). Summers didn't do much until Watermelon Man and Jerry Z was far too polite (subservient to the senior Headhunters?) - the other Gerry, that's Wor Gerry, Gerry with a G, wouldn't have stood on ceremony. Loft Funk saved the day.

Steve T said...

I enjoyed it, but accidentally seeing the Mahavishnu Orchestra (as a rock fan, like most who saw them) in 73 notwithstanding, jazz-funk is really where I came in, officially in 78 though tentatively through 75/6.
My main disappointment was at rows of empty seats and this kind of thing works best when there's an up for it audience and - who knows - we may have got Chameleon. I'm guessing the jazz people think it's too funky and the funk people find it too jazzy. I thought there was enough for both, especially with the splendid encore - sorry Lance.

If you ever see Show of Hands, he'll tell you they're too folkey for the people who don't like folk but not folkey enough for the people who do. However, you won't see many empty seats at a Show of Hands gig.

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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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