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Bebop Spoken There

Johnny Barnes: "Henry 'Red' Allen loved Newcastle Brown Ale" - (Jazz Journal December 1998.)

Archive

Today Thursday March 21

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Evening

Blues

Mo Scott Blues Band - The Globe, Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £6.00. (£3.00. student).

Jazz

Andy Lawrenson Trio - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. Free.

Tees Hot Club w. Dave Stansfield (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Ted Pierce (piano) - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

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.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Matt MacKellar Band @ the Black Swan - Jan. 10

Ben Lawrence (keyboards); Andy Champion (double bass); Matt MacKellar (drums); Niffi Osiyemi (vocals) 
(Review and individual pics are by Russell/group photo on the left is courtesy of Mike Tilley).

A new band, a first gig, would anyone turn up? You bet! The Black Swan did good business long before the advertised start and when the Matt MacKellar Band took to the stage it was standing room only.

Drummer Matt, home on leave from Berklee, handled the announcements with no little confidence. Enlisting pianist Ben Lawrence, himself taking a break from undergraduate studies at Durham University, was a good move and securing the on-loan services of bass supremo Andy Champion proved to be a shrewd piece of business in the January jazz transfer window. Student medic Niffi Osiyemi traded stethoscope for retro-chic microphone to add a touch of neo-soul vocal pzazz. 

Matt declared that Robert Glasper would figure large and so he did. Giving the American a run for his dollar tonight was keyboards wizz - that's keyboards plural, Nord and Roland - Ben Lawrence, playing with confidence, creativity and an ear for the band's collective neo-soul sound. Yes I'm Country opened the show and the Glasper tip continued with the introduction of vocalist Niffi Osiyemi singing Gonna Be Alright as Ben cajoled a convincing Fender Rhodes' sound from his Roland. Yes, this was more than alright!

In recent times Terence Blanchard has acquired a new, young fan base and here at the Black Swan the Matt MacKellar Band's contemporaries were into the E-Collective's Breathless. Jazz, hip-hop, the young ears were open to it all. Anchoring the whole thing was Andy Champion. if you're going to put together a band why not go for the best around? AC duly won mid-tune applause - not the done thing on this sort of gig - on Glasper's take on Moonchild's Every Part (for Linda)

Ben's as yet untitled lyrical tune opened up for man-of-the-moment Matt to take it out, cymbals fizzing and sparking. Niffi rejoined the boys to close out a fine first set. It was noted that several Early Birders, past, present and, perhaps, future, were on the premises. The baton is slowly but surely being handed on. 

Second set. Robert Glasper's Let it Ride hit new heights as Matt roared off into the distance at a killer lick. This is why we go to gigs - tremendous, simply tremendous! The US of A claims Glasper, Britain boasts Floetry. They may be no more - who knows? - but they did give us Say Yes. Matt knows his stuff and his audience. Two standards - Old Folks and Stella by Starlight (arr. R. Glasper, featuring Ben Lawrence, you'd hardly recognise it!) - either side of a J Dilla selection maintained the standard.

Matt called Niffi back to the stand one last time as they went out on Nate Smith's Pages. Drummer Smith the composer, it was little wonder fellow stickman MacKellar had some fun knocking out a first-rate solo. The Black Swan crowd wanted more...Alright then, said Matt. A scratch band winning an encore, say no more.      
Russell

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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