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Bebop Spoken There

Jackie Paris: "A singer's got to be able to tell a story. Frank Sinatra and Nat Cole are best at that; Mel Tormé too. I like to take a lyric that means something and sing it right to the person it was meant for." - (DownBeat October 11, 1962).


Daily: July 6 - October 27

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden - Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3BA. Tel: 0191 478 1810. Screenings at intervals during the day. Part of Akomfrah's exhibition Ballasts of Memory. Exhibition (daily) July 6 - October 27. 10:00am-6:00pm. Free.

Today Monday September 16



Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden (see above).

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.



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

Monday, November 02, 2009


“I’ll not ask your names, I never remember names, I can’t even remember the names of my children.” Said Gilad Atzmon, with typical self-deprecating humour. Thus began this fascinating and informative workshop. About 10 of us attended, ages from 16 upwards, with a preponderance of sax players, but also a trumpet, violin, electric guitar, 2 pianists and 2 singers. The session was in 2 parts, trying out improvisation and then discussing technique. And Gilad wasted no time in getting a few of us to play together creatively, and it actually sounded not too bad. Further attempts showed up the real problem, which was NOT LISTENING to the other musicians. Gilad explained it well, it’s the ear that matters in music, we shouldn’t be concentrating on looking at written music, but listening. We analyse too much, music isn’t academic. This applies to all music, not just jazz. To improve technique, he declared that you must identify your problem and admit it, decide on the solution, then put it into practice. A demonstration of how to improve tone followed. The saxes were shown how to get a breathy tone out of the instrument with a simultaneous low tone. As a non-sax player I’ve no idea what they were doing but it sounded intriguing. Musicians were encouraged to sing some parts of the scale when practising. It seems we singers are doing it right anyway! We then did rhythm exercises with clapping and stamping out the pulse, and rounded off with Indian Tabla rhythms. This bit was difficult to latch onto, and I think Gilad should return soon to extend our knowledge of this. With loads of discussion and good humour this was a very successful session, which could be enjoyed by anyone who likes music, which is probably everyone. Ann Alexander
(There are more observations on this remarkable experience to follow - Lance.)

1 comment :

Angela J Elliott said...

This sounds like a wonderful workshop. I wonder if he's repeating it done my way at all? (London) I did a course a few years ago at the London College of Contemporary Music and although we had a preponderance of great teachers - Anita Wardell, Nick Weldon, Trevor Tompkins, Dave Waterman - it was Dave O'Higgins who really inspired me, and from whom I learned the most. I learned that I can hear the 'guidetones' really well, just like a sax player, but that I need to explore the scales more. The sax players in our group, needless to say, were told to listen to me for the guidetones! I was well chuffed I can tell you! So yes, singers do sometimes get it right!

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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: I look forward to hearing from you.

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