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Bebop Spoken There

Randy Brecker: "It's still a thrill for me today to stand out front of a big band as the soloist and hear all that sound going on behind you. It brings the best out of me" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Tuesday May 21

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Evening

Kamasi Washington - Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4461. 7:30pm. £30.00.

River City Jazzmen w. Maureen Hall - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NN. Tel: 01670 813983. 8:00pm. £5 (raffle inc.) Bob Wade, Gordon Solomon, Keith Stephen, Phil Rutherford, Tommy Graham.

Lindsay Hannon Band - 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.

Thursday, April 04, 2019

CD Review: Ushaw Ensemble - Ushaw Ensemble Volume 1

Paul Edis (composer, piano, musical director); Graeme Wilson (tenor sax, bass clarinet, flute); Graham Hardy (trumpet, flugelhorn); Andy May (Northumbrian pipes); Rob Walker (drums, percussion); Paul Susans (double bass); Emma Fisk (violin)
(Review by Russell)

Ushaw Ensemble Volume 1 is the latest chapter in the evolving story of a commissioned suite of music which met with universal critical acclaim following performances at festivals and jazz club engagements. Composer Paul Edis assembled a septet comprising notable figures on the national jazz stage alongside respected Northumbrian piper Andy May to interpret his music celebrating the life and story of St Cuthbert. The CD serves as a document of the story so far..


Volume 1 is in two parts; the greater part (St. Cuthbert Suite) comprising eleven tracks, and a stand-alone composition (Sound of Achill) closing some fifty minutes or so of absorbing music. St. Cuthbert's Theme is stated by violinist Emma Fisk, a theme which recurs periodically throughout the suite. Andy May's haunting pipes (A Shepherd from Melrose) evoke an ancient, bleak, seventh-century Northumbrian landscape in which Cuthbert lived and worked. Abbeys, monasteries and religious retreats punctuate Edis' narrative yet faith, belief, call it what you will, isn't a prerequisite when listening to the music of the Ushaw Ensemble. 

Edis' writing succeeds in fusing folk, jazz and classical elements; Fisk and May etching Cuthbert's simple, at times solitary, existence, similarly double bassist Paul Susans (Solitude), Graham Hardy (trumpet and flugelhorn) making a connection between ancient and modern horn instruments, Graeme Wilson (tenor sax, bass clarinet and flute) given license to roam across the piece, in the process unleashing a ferocious, freely improvised tenor saxophone contribution in tandem with drummer Rob Walker (The Vikings, track 8), and the architect of the Ushaw Ensemble project, Paul Edis, incorporating myriad styles and influences including, as the composer acknowledges, Debussy, Ravel, Ellington and Messiaen. 

Ushaw Ensemble Volume 1 tells a story, the music is majestic, and, as the title suggests, there is Volume 2 to look forward to.   

Ushaw Ensemble Volume 1 should be considered an essential purchase. For further details visit: www.pauledis.co.uk  

The Ushaw Ensemble will perform the music of Volume 1 at a CD launch concert at Ushaw College, April 4 (tonight), 7:30pm.         

Russell

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