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Bebop Spoken There

Reuben James: "Mark [Kavuma] has such a unique sound on the horn. He lets it all hang out in a very vulnerable way when he plays ballads." - (DownBeat October 2019).


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 Tuesday September 24



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

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm - 3:00pm. Free.




JCM: In Memory of Jon Hiseman - Forum Music Centre, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 363135. 7:00pm. £20.00. (£18.00. adv.). Clem Clemson (guitar); Mark Clarke (bass); Ralph Salmins (drums). Support: T-A-B ((Tom Atkinson Band).


Alter Ego - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. £5.00.



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

Saturday, February 06, 2010

(Even) Better Than the Bridge! PAUL EDIS SEXTET – Jazz in the café at the Queen’s Hall Hexham. Friday Feb. 5

PAUL EDIS piano, ADAM SINCLAIR drums, PAUL SUSANS bass, GRAEME WILSON sax, GRAHAM HARDY trumpet/flugel, CHRIS HIBBARD trombone. My first time at this venue: it will not be the last – I commend it to you. “In the sticks”, yes, but, at 25 minutes drive from Chester-le-Street, hardly an odyssey!
With 50 – 60 people, plus musicians and staff it was standing-room only by 8.00 last night so be early if you want a table.
A full-house made for a good atmosphere – a kind of cross between Blaydon and The Cherry Tree. People clearly like to eat as part of the package and most were finishing eating at 7.30, when we arrived. It looked good – more cottage supper than haute cuisine but it required wifely restraint to keep me from trying the corned-beef pie, served in wedges you could chock a 147 with!
Friendly staff and good ales (Allendale beers in bottle) completed the picture. As I was driving, the ale, too, was off-limits. Shame! At 8.00, the lights dimmed and “Out of Nowhere” the band launched into exactly that and the applause which greeted solos by Graeme, Graham and Paul, showed that the audience know, and like, their jazz. “Ah,Um”, a Mingus-inspired original introduced a more baleful note and showcased Chris Hibbard on trombone as well as giving Adam and Paul Susans some space in the “fours”.
This was followed by Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood” which, with a slow, mellow flugelhorn solo, lived up to the title. In contrast, “Black Orpheus” with trombone again to the fore (how expressive an instrument in the right hands!) built up in rhythm and volume to something akin to carnival firecrackers. They closed the set (where can you go after firecrackers?) with some “kamikaze jazz” (also used at the Bridge) – Graeme Wilson’s “Up Late”, with stomping crescendos and a clever finish: a musical exclamation mark! Again, as at the Bridge, the second set opened with “All the things you are(n’t)”, complete with fugue intro: a case of “Welcome Bach?” An aberrant mobile phone added a novel “obligato” at the end of the piece but the audience seemed to love it all.
Also very well received was Paul’s “suite” in four parts which, when premiered at the Bridge, was so fresh as to be still untitled – a defect which has now been remedied. Inspired by post pantomime stress disorder it is now fittingly entitled “It’s behind You!” – which title, apparently, was suggested by Adam Sinclair. And very good it was – even better than at the Bridge, the first and the last bass notes sandwiching 26 minutes (yes, I timed it) of varied moods and virtuoso playing.
The second and third sections (waltz and ballad?) best illustrate the variety with “Favourite Things” from the “Sound of Music” popping into my mind at times in the waltz, while the ballad took me back to Ellington’s mood from the first set. “Angular” featured more excellent solos most notably from Graham Hardy on trumpet and finished the night with upbeat humour sending the audience home happy. A special mention for Paul Susans (deputising at short notice for Mick Shoulder) who contributed much to the solid rhythm section as well as some solos and a key part in the suite. A really enjoyable gig: I would go back for more of the sextet and (given a lift) some pie, beer and Hexham hospitality!
Jerry Edis.

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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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