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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.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Andy Champion's ACV @ Queens Hall, Hexham. Thursday May 6

Paul Edis, keyboards ; Graeme Wilson, tenor & baritone sax ; Mark Williams, Strat ; Adrian Tilbrook, drums ; Andy Champion, double bass
So I forsake Emile Parisien's reportedly wonderful gig at Gateshead Old Town Hall, if Russell's lyrical Franglais blog is to be believed, for a night out in Hexham. No more election puns but this was anything but a 67% turnout ; the chef had gone home for a TV dinner and almost everyone else in town seems to have followed suit. But the show must go on and ACV gave us - me and the surprised Hexham 11 - a spirited if rather echoey performance.
"Are you ready Adrian?" asks Andy ; "I'm ready, but is the world ready?!" Then straight in with that wonderfully strident 9/8 rhythm as Andy plucks the rising bass intro of the first track on the album Fail in Wood, A Line made by Walking, leaving the chosen few in no doubt that this is no tea garden performance - more of a lightening tour of Tokyo's Shinjuku district.
After another, Andy quips, well-placed album track - You Add to My Stress, we are treated to the new enigmatic AC composition Giant Mice, punching another big hole in Hexham's wainscoting! the scale of it is beyond our metaphorical grasp. The first set finishes with that wonderfully moody track Black Embrace, which, on the album sleeve carries the in-parenthesis qualification Knight Moves, and always makes me think of some obscure defensive play, combined with the Cool style of the original 1968 Thomas Crown Affair, yet again boiling down to soft-focus sex with Faye Dunaway on a sheepskin rug surrounding an abandoned chess game, 2 empty glasses and a lipstick-traced long filter-tipped cigarette gently smoking on a heavy glass ashtray.
Only 3 people appear to have gone home to work out the prize anagram competition - Giant Mice (9) - a swing of 25% to Roluba, as the second set kicks off with the elegiac album title track Fail in Wood, Andy plucking flowers carefully before they Perish from the Hill, picking up speed until they take off like a Scarlet Freight train into the parallax of Graeme's forging tenor and Mark's iron Strat, flinging out their Nameless Pods as they tear towards what we can only imagine is the horizon. And then, no apologies required, Andy's mischievous monkey treatment of Monk's Hackensack with, I have to say, my table drumming highlight of the night - man of the match award goes to Adrian for his superb drum solo, which must have woken up even the loneliest monks in Hexham Abbey! Paul Edis comes in close with his tribute piano work - those jarring semitone 2nds and rising and falling chromatic triplets - classic Monk! We are then treated to another 2 new compositions: New Peculiar and Never Ever which are both well-received.
You can tell there's an express train approaching and it's not stopping, as Andy counts in Without Bones at 333 bpm, 'Time No Changes', Biggles flies undone on a shot of Red Bull, driving that train as our hero chucks on the proverbial coal with his great wooden shovel ; searching for metaphors, Paul turns up the percussive steam pressure on the keys like Cecil Taylor on speed, while Mark's Strat (through The Rat) and Graeme's tenor trade deafening but friendly insults in a dining car with no windows; someone off stage pulls the communication chord and the train hits the buffers on Fm7 to F - exhilarating stuff.
But now is the time to yield a sigh and ACV send us home with the beautifully written and arranged And You Do, ending like a Highland lullaby to keep us from staying up to watch the results dribble in. So it looks like the Tap and Spile!
George M.


Anonymous said...

I'll have a pint of whatever the poster of this comment has had please..........

Lance said...

Are you sure? It comes with a government (what government?) health warning.

Russell said...

Hi Anon

George appreciates good beer. See you at the Sonny Simmons gig.


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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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Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
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