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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.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Mark Toomey Quartet @ Dormans Jazz Festival, Middlesbrough - April 4

Mark Toomey (alto sax); Jeremy McMurray (piano); Pete Ayton (bass ); and Paul Smith (drums).
(Review by Ron H)

The Dormans Jazz Festival got off to a flying start with this highly accomplished band paying tribute to Charlie Parker and leader Mark demonstrating his in-depth familiarity of the repertoire.

The bebop standard Au Privave was an excellent opener, then, by way of contrast, All The Things You Are. Beautifully melodic in keeping with the original. This was a very tight quartet with outstanding solos from sax, piano and bass.


Continuing in the Bird-like vein we had the Latin flavoured My Little Suede Shoes, the classic Just Friends and then the lovely ballad This Is Always, once recorded by vocalist Earl Coleman with the Parker Quartet that included Erroll Garner on piano. No vocalist here but fine piano by Jeremy.

The first set finished with Ray Noble’s Cherokee. Brought out of the dance band setting by Parker, tonight’s version clearly demonstrated the ability of these four musicians to play this up-tempo piece so well with impressive solos all round.

A favourite of mine, Ornithology, started the second session in style, followed by Out of Nowhere and Parker’s Mood. The lovely Star Eyes preceded the finishing number Wee played fast and furious with a terrific drum solo by Paul.

Such was the enthusiasm from the audience that an encore was demanded and this was the beautifully played On a Slow Boat to China.

An excellent start to the festival by a top class quartet comprising some of the best Teesside based jazz musicians and well supported by a large and appreciative audience, with thanks going to Dormans Club for their generous support of the local jazz scene.

Ron H.

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