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Bebop Spoken There

Michel Camilo: "That first year, believe it or not, to practice I drew a keyboard on a piece of cardboard, because I could hear in my head all the notes" - (JazzTimes, Feb. 2020).


The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

Today Saturday February 29



Great North Big Band Jazz Festival - Park View Community Centre, Church Chare, Chester le Street DH3 3PZ.. Tel: 07958 302745. 12:00 noon. Open Section (senior) competition. (Winners’ concert - 7:00pm). £15.00. weekend ticket, £12.00. day ticket, £5.00. under 16. Day 2/3.

Tees Valley Jazzmen - Hammer & Pincers, Preston Lane, Preston-le-Skerne, Newton Aycliffe DL5 6JH. Tel: 01325 314873. 1:00pm. £2.00.


Keith Nichols w New Century Ragtime Orchestra - Caedmon Hall, Gateshead Library, Prince Consort Road, Gateshead NE8 4LN. 7:30pm. Tickets £15.00 from 0191 281 4011. Line-up includes guests Keith Nichols (piano, vocals) & Nick Ward (drums).

Mike Lovatt w Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4461. 8:00pm. £14.70. Trumpet virtuoso w SSBB.

Mansion of Snakes - Cobalt Studios, Boyd St., Newcastle. 9:00pm. Donations. Cobalt’s Late Night Jazz Club. Band + DJ.


Red Hot Riot - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

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

Saturday, March 27, 2010

VOTNJO with Jason Yarde at the Sage Gateshead Jazz Festival.

Well-known standards apart, I always feel inadequate commenting on jazz performances as I lack the necessary critical vocabulary and knowledge of the genre. But, to adapt a well-known saying,: I know nothing about jazz, but I know what I like. And last night’s VOTNJO/Jason Yarde gig, I loved!
      I had not heard of, or heard, Jason Yarde before (all right, I’ve admitted my ignorance already!) but I will remember the name now! His performance on sax, his amazing compositions and his hyperactive stage-presence, made for a memorable evening. 
His pre-concert talk had mentioned diverse influences such as hip-hop, reggae and (his parents’) James Brown, and the pieces performed reflected that variety. Jason also explained that, when composing for big bands, he liked to motivate and “engage” all the individual musicians by ensuring that there was something challenging or a bit different for them to tackle at some point in each piece: no slouching back in the “comfort-zone” a large group might otherwise encourage. This too was evident on stage where the musicians were, at times, visibly on tenterhooks but, at the same time, thoroughly enjoying every moment as the time flew by. The talk also shed light on the aforementioned hyperactive stage-presence: although loving classical music, Jason did not fancy the “conservatoire” approach as a student and opted, instead, for a performance arts course where other disciplines – dance especially – came into play. No wonder, as a conductor, he makes Izzy Barratt look immobile!
      I enjoyed the shorter pieces (the first, I think, was called “Tag”) which preceded the main course – the suite (apologies, Lance, if that sounds like a gastronomic paradox!), “Four letter words for four letters heard”. These gave a flavour of what was to come with varied rhythms and changes of volume (full volume was mighty impressive in the superb acoustics of the hall!) and some great sax playing by Jason himself. In the suite, Jason the sax-player gave way, for the most part to Jason the conductor, but the band ensured that no vacuum was left in the music. It was all powerful stuff with many excellent solos on trombone, trumpet and various saxophones. Outstanding, for me, was the section where Sue Ferris had a long flute solo – maybe because it brought back memories of when our house was seldom without some solo flute on the go! A cack-handed compliment, perhaps, from a self-confessed ignoramus, but Andy Champion seems to get better and better every time I hear him, as well. I also liked the part where all but the rhythm section downed tools and clapped (rhythmically), which typified, for me, the “fun” nature of the whole performance.
      I can’t wait to hear more! 
     Jerry Edis.

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