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Bebop Spoken There

Davina Lozier: "So many people never settle into who they really are. They just do what they want to do because they want to be Oscar Peterson or Muddy Waters or Britney Spears. But I am what I am: a chubby, 40-year-old woman who's still doing it." - (DownBeat, December 2019).


Today Monday November 11



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

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool - Tyneside Cinema, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6QG. Tel: 0191 227 5500. 3:40pm. Stanley Nelson's 2019 documentary film.


Soft Machine - Cluny, Lime St., Newcastle NE1 2PQ. Tel 0191 230 4474. 7:30pm. £17.50.

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

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tomasz Stanko Quintet @ The Sage, Gateshead.

Tomasz Stanko - trumpet, Jakob Bro - guitar, Alexi Tuomarila - piano, Anders Christensen - bass, Olavi Louhivuori - drums.
Some years ago I read a collection of short stories by William Price Fox - "Southern Fried". They are magnificent tales of the American deep south - seek it out, I think it has been re-printed with 6 extra stories.
The particular story relevant to tonight's little adventure is a one called "The Rope". It's a story centred around a group of down and outs who challenge each other to name the worst place they have ever slept in. The winner was a doss house which had a room with a rope stretched across the middle - no beds - just a rope. The idea was that the 'guests' draped themselves across the rope and then tried to sleep. The most comfortable position was in the centre of the rope but if you were late arriving it meant you had to make do with the end of the rope and had to try and sleep at an angle. Not easy.
Tonight, I opted for a £7 standing ticket on Level 3 in The Sage's Hall 2. This was only marginally more comfortable than I imagine the rope to have been and possibly contributed to my cup not running over with joy.
Roz Rigby introduced the quintet who last night had been part of the London Jazz Festival and tonight were performing, possibly, as part of Polish Week in Newcastle. I wondered idly if they were having a Newcastle Week in Poland!
The first 20 minutes were of a dirge like nature; probing, introspective, long drawn out notes that suggested a lament to a fallen soldier or a departed love, possibly the introduction to a dream and indeed sleep did beckon but I fought it and won (or did I?).
The set was played non-stop without interval or announcement and there were moments when it came beautifully and excitingly to life. Tomasz does have a wonderful tone (so he should playing all those long notes) and when he chose to despatch some Miles-like runs he displayed an impressive technique and nobody slept.
But, having fortified myself by listening to his earlier quartet recordings I realised that I was really at the wrong concert. The fault is entirely mine.
Piano, bass, guitar and drums had their moments but by and large their role was supportive.
The attendance was good with Levels 1 and 2 close to sold out hence my being up there where the air is rarified.
Next time I'll opt for a seat in the stalls.

1 comment :

George said...

Sorry to hear of your Tomasz Stanko discomfort 'over the rope' Lance - Orwell refers to this kind of doss house in Down & Out.... where 5 star would be solid boards to hang over. There was another luxury in A J Cronin's Beyond This Place, where sacking was stretched between 2 ropes to make a line of low-slung 'hammocks'.
I really am sorry that Stanko didn't deliver for you as I was intending to go ; I've got friends in Poland who gave me some of his albums back in 2005 and I really liked them. As I write I'm refreshing on the most amazing coincidence of a title considering your comments: 'Suspended Night' ECM 2004, which is of its genre and I can see where you're coming from : I like this cool delivery as a nightcap but it's not the music to take your mind off rope burns in the armpit!

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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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