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Bebop Spoken There

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Postage

13,248 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 667 of them this year alone and, so far, 75 this month (May 16).

Coming soon ...



May 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen at The Holystone (Indoors!)
May 20 Maine Street Jazzmen are back at Sunniside Social Club. 8:30pm start.
May 23: Vieux Carré Hot Four are back at The Spanish City.

June 21: Jazz in the Afternoon are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club. (Revised date).
June 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club. (Revised date).

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Orleans Club - Roly Veitch

My first experiences of local live jazz were at The New Orleans Jazz Club at the top of Forth Bank in Newcastle.
A dowdy building on the corner - you went down some stairs to a smokey cellar area with various murky recesses filled with bodies of all shapes and sizes. There, in the far corner, the band would play.
The club was run by a Pole, Jurich - I wonder what happened to him? Live music for me at that time (late 60s, 70s) would be a mix of The NO Club (jazz) and The Club Agogo (R&B) in Percy Street.
My memories of the local bands who played at The N.O. is hazy now - Mighty Joe Young with a quartet, Jeff Hedley (a very 'modern' player for the time) and his band, various other units. However, one magical concert stands out in the memory. It was by Zbigniew Namylowsky and his Polish Modern Jazz Quartet. He played alto in a fiery, boppish style. The pianist was a midget - he could hardly reach his hands up over the keyboard but was a wonderful player. It almost might have been Petrucciani but wasn't. Still don't know who he was. Drums and bass unknown too. The music, I read afterwards, was a mix of bop and ethnic folk music. I didn't really understand it but remember being mesmerised. That was my first encounter with the magic of international class jazz - an enthralling concert by some fantastic players.
Bill Harper recalled blind pianist Peter Jacobsen coming to a gig there with his dad - Peter was only in his early teens. His dad asked if he could sit in. The band were a bit uncertain about it and not sure what to expect. Anyway they agreed and Bill asked what tune he wanted to play. "Stella by Starlight" came the reply. 'Hmmmm - Stella', said Bill - 'what key?' 'Any key you like' young Peter replied. I like that story.
Does anyone have more detail about the club in general and this concert, the Polish jazz quartet, in particular, the other personnel etc?
Roly

3 comments :

Anonymous said...

"Stella by Starlight" Roly is one of my faves of all times. Here in York for many years there was a hugely talented pianist called Bobby Hirst...he was a legend & played all over the city for dinner dances, and later just for beer money when that era was over. My dad played with him in the early days,(he was a guitarist) I remember Bobbie's fave was this number, he loved the standards so much that he named his daughter Ella. I haven't thought of Bobby for ages until I read your blog.

Anonymous said...

Found this, Roly, on Google:

Lola
Label: GOWI, 1996 (Poland)
Catalog No.: CDG 30

Zbigniew Namyslowski playlist

Tracks:

PEKNA LOLA, KWIAT POLNOCY (BEAUTIFUL LOLA, FLOWER OF THE NORTH) (Namyslowski) 6.37
LESZEK I LUDWIG (Gulgowski) 3.36
PIATAWKA (IN 5/4 TIME) (Namyslowski) 8.00
BLUES SHMUES (Namyslowski) 3.50
ROZPACZ (DESPAIR) (Namyslowski) 7.19
TKOTKONITKOTKO (Namyslowski) 4.44
WOZNY - NAJWAZNIEJSZY (THE CARETAKER - THE MOST IMPORTANT MAN) (Gulgowski) 3.54
OL' MAN RIVER (Kern, Hammerstein) 6.45
Performed by:

Zbigniew Namyslowski - alto sax
Wlodzimierz Gulgowski - piano
Tadeusz Wojcik - bass
Czeslaw Bartkowski - drums

Recorded:

August 1964 at Decca Studios, London. Originally released on LP: DECCA LK 4644, 1964

(I presume they have nicknames!)

Anonymous said...

Looked at this but the play list unfortunately defaults. There are some YouTube features for Namylowski recorded more recently.
These players on this 1964 recording could have been the bass and drummer at The New Orleans I suppose but Gulgowsky was not the pianist. I don't think so anyway. Wonder who it was?
Roly

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