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Bebop Spoken There

Branford Marsalis: "You talk to the old guys about it [52nd St.], and they say the music part was great. Every other aspect of it [pay, hours, conditions] sucked" - (DownBeat, May 2019).

Archive

Today Sunday April 21

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Blues

Beefy La Slap - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 3:00pm. Free.

Alex Fawcett Band - Tyne Bar, Maling St., Newcastle NE6 1LP. Tel: 0191 265 2550. 4:00pm. Free

Evening

Jazz

East Coast Jazz - Exchange, Howard Street, North Shields NE30 1SE. Tel: 0191 258 4111. 6:00pm. Free. Monthly jam session.

Swing Manouche - Black Bull, Bridge St., Blaydon NE21 4JJ. Tel: 0191 414 2846. 7:30pm. £7.00. Blaydon Jazz Club. Note new, regular start time.

Blues

Sour Mash Trio - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

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

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Joy Ellis Quartet @ The Globe - March 2

Joy Ellis (voice, piano); James Kitchman (guitar); Henrik Jensen (bass); Adam Osmianski (drums)
(Review by Ann Alex/Photo courtesy of Sheila Herrick).

I’d seen this band at the Globe last year and some of us had been to the afternoon workshop at the Sage where we learned about Brazilian Samba and jazz with Joy and Adam, so I was really looking forward to this gig. I wasn’t disappointed and neither was the rest of the audience.

No Brazilian music tonight, but original songs in a contemporary vein, very atmospheric songs about London and cities in general, a song to welcome a new baby, a piece about a conspiracy theory, one about an icy, snowy day, even a song illustrating a jam session. Not the usual whole song then solos all round, but complex arrangements, often led by voice/piano or guitar.


It began with tuneful piano, quite folk-like, a feeling of landscape produced by cymbals, joined by guitar, Daffodils, written to welcome a friend’s new baby into the world. Then came a boppy influenced song, From Dusk Till Dawn (I think, sorry, I didn’t catch all the titles); Then came Life On Land, from the band’s debut album, long piano chords and slow cymbals to open, then speeding up. Biding My Time had been written in response to Joy hearing about a conspiracy theory connected to the American Apollo 11 project, an interesting set of lyrics, ‘You once called me Pollyanna’. City was from an album in preparation, an atmospheric, descriptive piece, effective lyrics mentioning traffic, the rain, the young executive, and traffic-type sounds from the band, and the whole piece went along at exactly my brisk walking pace, how did Joy know? 

The second set began with In The Quiet, a slow song with wisps of sound, a bowed bass, then the tune gradually became more firm.  The Jazz Man was fun, lively and satirical, about the rivalry of jam sessions, with typical solos from piano and guitar. A song which Joy said was a work in progress was followed by Ice On The River, with scraped cymbals for the ice and a ‘cold ‘sound on guitar. We thought that was it, but a man in the audience had other ideas. He asked Joy to sing something from the GASbook, perhaps not realising that this was a different sort of gig. After another of the band’s originals, a ‘city’ song, Joy obliged by singing In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning, in a subtly different vocal style, to suit the song.

A truly enjoyable evening.

Ann Alex.
(Editor's note - James Kitchman first came to our notice circa 2009/10 when he was a regular sitter-in at the Take it to the Bridge sessions when they were held in The Chillingham. Good to see his career has well and truly taken hold.)

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