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Bebop Spoken There

Jim Hall: "Won't play loud, can't play fast" - (From one of the great guitarist's business cards brought to our attention by Roly Veitch).

Joel Harrison: “It’s incredibly hard to play bebop on guitar, harder than on saxophone.” – (Jazz Times August 2015)

Sir Thomas Beecham: "Forget about the bars. Look at the phrases, please. Remember that bars are only the boxes in which the music is packed" - (Beecham Stories by Harold Atkins & Archie Newman. Robson Books, 1978).

Today Wednesday June 28

Afternoon.
Vieux Carre Jazzmen - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. £1. 8pm.
Chris Sharkey Trio - Jazz Café. 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. £5/Students free - voluntary donation.
Levee Ramblers NOJB - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Road, Springwell, Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:30pm. £3.00.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

RIP Sandi Russell

So sad to learn of the death of Sandi on June 23. A larger than life character, she brought an enthusiasm to the music that few could match and, although there have recently been several claimants regarding who arranged the first Durham Jazz Festival, I think Sandi could claim that distinction.
A lusty, gutsy, singer, she didn't take prisoners but gave her all at each and every performance.
I reviewed that first festival gig back in 2011 here and, although it wasn't gushing approval, she emailed me back thanking me.
She was quite a girl and I'll miss her, often wild, performances. Sandi did do subtle but not very often and I wouldn't have had it any other way.
A one off and someone who'll be very sadly missed. I guess there will be a few promoters throughout the land saying 'we should have booked her'.
Sandi was 71. RIP.
Lance
Obituary

Preview: Gypsy Jazz Workshop @ Easington











The Barn at Easington is a venue on the East Durham Coast that has hosted several festivals in the past. A whole day of Gypsy Jazz Workshops is planned on September 16 followed by a Fireside jam in the evening, all in the beautiful surroundings of Thorp Lea East Farm.  Camping is available for those who have the stamina to go on playing until the small hours. 
If successful, the organisers are hoping that this might become a regular thing and might even extend to a whole weekend Gypsy Jazz Camp next summer. 
Click on the above posters for details also: http://www.thebarnateasington.co.uk/

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

UN-NATURAL FUNCTIONS

(Anon - forwarded by Ray Harley)


It's one of those gigs that you wish you'd not taken,
But money speaks louder than pride so you bite.
Better judgement dispensed with, ideals are forsaken,
You kid yourself it'll be right on the night.

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The drive is a nightmare; you turn up last minute.
The bandleader's 'tutting' and itching to start.
Too late it dawns, it's hell and you’re in it,
The drummer counts in - you can’t find the first part.
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As is the tradition with small town Masonics,
They've eaten their fill and they won’t leave their chairs.
They just sit morosely and down gin & tonics
While fixing the bandstand with long baleful stares.
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Monday, June 26, 2017

CD Review: Kathrine Windfeld Big Band

(Review by Lance).
A compelling album by an outstanding Danish Big Band. Not a swing band by any means and, although there are foot-tapping moments, mainly it's a contemporary ensemble with barely a do-wa-do-wa-do-wa in sight. Instead, Ms. Windfeld successfully, and originally, explores territories previously prospected by Gil Evans, Mingus, George Russell, Kenny Wheeler, Mike Westbrook and Mike Gibbs among others. She does it well and loses nothing in comparision to her better known, outside of Denmark, contemporaries.

Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band @ Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester - June 25

(Review by Russell).
They flew 6000 miles to play two concerts. A capacity audience at this first concert greeted this Los Angeles supergroup with wild applause, all before a note was played. The Wigan International Jazz Festival sought the services of this greatest of big bands for some fifteen years and now, finally, we were about to hear the band live, in concert. Festival Director Ian Darrington introduced the band in simple fashion; Welcome the best big band on the planet.
Cameras flashed as the Big Phat Band strolled onto the stage, the best big band on the planet. MD Gordon Goodwin acknowledged an ecstatic audience as the band’s British premiere began right on time. The eighteen-piece Big Phat Band, comprising of Los Angeles’ A-list film and recording studio session musicians, exuded a casual air, their collective CV simply amazing. Boy, this lot could play!

Update on forthcoming gigs at Blaydon Jazz Club

SATURDAY AFTERNOON SESSION - 15th July 1pm to 3.30pm - £5.00
Colin Aitchison tpt, Franco Valussi clt, Steve Andrews sax/clt, Alan Rudd bass, Roly Veitch gtr.
The annual visit of the Hong Kong based Colin & Franco and friends. It wasn't possible to arrange an evening concert this year hence this Saturday afternoon session. 
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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Jazz Lads back at Saltburn next Sunday (July 2)

Ray Dales (alto); Jeremy McMurray (keys); Ian Bosworth (guitar); Adrian Beadnell (bass); Paul Smith (drums).
The Jazz Lads, pictured left, make their monthly trip to Saltburn Golf Club next Sunday (July 2). Starts 8pm with admission £5. Where better on a balmy Summer's evening?
Lance.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Noel Dennis Trio @ Gala Theatre, Durham - June 23

Noel Dennis (trumpet & flugelhorn), Paul Edis (piano) & Andy Champion (double bass)
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Brian Ebbatson)
Is there a more lyrical trumpet player? Noel Dennis has the pedigree of a top flight London-based musician yet chooses to combine his work as an academic with his love of jazz. Having relocated to his native north east following a short stint working in Glasgow, Dennis is once again playing a select number of gigs throughout the region.
This Gala Theatre gig followed a remarkable pattern; for several months the Gala’s lunchtime jazz concert has sold out days, if not weeks, in advance. Noel Dennis was greeted by a full house. The one hundred seats were occupied in time for a one o’clock start with Dennis quipping that Durham was the region’s jazz capital. 

Paul Skerritt Band @ Jazz Café - June 23

Paul Skerritt (vocal): James Harrison (piano); Anth Ord (bass guitar); Tom Chapman (drums).
(Review by Lance).
Skerritt has acquired a beard since the last time I saw him. He's also just come off his honeymoon so I guess shaving isn't his top priority in the mornings. In celebration of the nuptials, a tray of Rice Crispy based wedding cake was offered around and, it has to be said, it was the best Rice Crispy based wedding cake I've ever tasted bar none. Come to think of it, it's the only Rice Crispy based wedding cake I've ever tasted! It was still delicious - as was the music.
Putting on the Ritz got the party underway and it was quite a party. This band don't do subtle or maybe they do but perhaps it's so subtle only the most keenly attuned ears notice it and you don't get many keenly attuned ears in The Caff on a Friday night.

The Gabi Heller Quartet @ The Globe - June 22

Gabi Heller (vocals); Steve Glendinning (guitar); Dave Parker (bass); Mark Robertson (drums)
(Review by Ann Alex)
This band was as great as ever, so the difficulty for the reviewer is trying to say something different about the performance. Here goes: I noticed Gabi’s clever acting ability in interpreting the songs, especially her very expressive left hand (the hand not holding the mike) pleading, spreading, twisting, in order to convey emotion. I noticed the wide range of different tones that Stevie entranced from the guitar, Dave practically dancing with the bass in his enthusiasm, and Mark matching his drumming wonderfully to the different moods of the songs, sticks, brushes, mallets, playing cymbals only, as suggested. Gabi, who is an actor as well as a singer, put her heart and soul into all the songs, and I think maybe all jazz singers should study acting as well. The songs are worth it.

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About this blog - contact details.

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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