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Bebop Spoken There

Randy Brecker: "It's still a thrill for me today to stand out front of a big band as the soloist and hear all that sound going on behind you. It brings the best out of me" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Wednesday May 22

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Julija Jacenaite & Alan Law - Jazz Café, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 261 5618. 2:00pm. Free. Café Mezzanine (first floor, access via crafts shop).

Evening

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £1.00.

Blues

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8:30pm. Free.

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

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Frank and Ella (Todd and Jacqui) - the BBC Big Band @ The Sage.

Jay Craig (leader); Tom Walsh, Martin Shaw, Andy Greenwood, Pablo Mendelsohn (tpts); John Higginbottom, Mike Feltham, Andy Wood, Alistair White (tmb); Sammy Main, Colin Skinner (alt), Dave O'Higgins, Robert Fowler (ten), Claire McNearny (bar); David Patrick (pno); Jeremy Brown (bs); Martin Wheatley (gtr); Matt Skelton (dms); Jacqui Dankworth, Todd Gordon (vcls).
Frank and Ella were, in my opinion - and no doubt the opinion of those who occupied a lot of seats in Hall One tonight - the two greatest singers of the last century.
The question was - how would Todd and Jacqui rate by comparision?
Todd has the voice, the look, the gestures - close your eyes and you're hearing 'Old Blue Eyes' - cept you ain't!
Jacqui doesn't look like Ella, doesn't sound like Ella yet she totally encapsulates the Spirit of Ella (with a touch of Mama Cleo) and for me that edged it.
Don't get me wrong both were excellent but, for me, Jacqui just went that extra couple of centimetres. The two ladies I spoke to on the Link bus gave the nod to Todd so you pays your money...
The two singers went through a fine selection of classics related to both artists - Todd's Tender Trap had me sighing sighs whilst Jacqui's It's Alright With Me was alright with me too.
The instrumental soloists didn't get quite the work-out they deserved although Dave O'Higgins (almost a resident at The Sage!) had some good blasts as did fellow tenor man Robert Fowler. Martin Shaw blew some muted and restrained trumpet on a Billy Byers' arrangement for Basie of South of the Border and a more forceful blast twixt the singers duet on They Can't Take That Away From Me. I'd like to have heard Sammy Main featured but this was a singers night and the rapturous applause that brought them back for the inevitable Lady Is a Tramp kept the customers well and truly satisfied.
All in all it was well worth braving the chill night air for which, after having spent a day indoors without heating, was no mean endeavour.
Lance.
PS: My heating is now back on!

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