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Bebop Spoken There

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Milestones: the Music of Miles Davis @ Gateshead Old Town Hall

Graeme Flowers (tpt), Alan Barnes (alt/bar), Ian Price (ten), Terry Seabrook (pno), Paul Whitten (bs), Spike Wells (dms).
This wasn't just a tribute band - it was a hardblowing neobop sextet that stood firmly on it's own 12 feet.
It would be sacrilege to say that Milestones was better than the original - without the original Milestones wouldn't exist! However, in the 50 + years that have passed since Miles and Co ruled the (Royal) Roost jazz has advanced and tonight's performers have absorbed those changes whilst still keeping within the unwritten rules.
This was arguably the best concert I have heard in Gateshead Town Hall since Sonny Stitt took it apart in the 1960s - Gateshead Town Hall and any other Gateshead venue come to think about it.
The music was based around Miles but at times the front-line came across almost like the Jazz Messengers with Graeme Flowers as close to Lee Morgan as he was to MD.
I wasn't complaining!
Alan Barnes is amazing - I've heard him do Johnny Hodges, Benny Goodman, Bird you name it, his technique is not only phenomenal but it is so adaptable.
I don't recall hearing Ian Price previous to tonight but I'll look forward to hearing him again he blew hard bop tenor yet, when the occasion demanded it, he could also do gentle.
Terry kept it all together on piano and had some great originals to complement the Milesian epics. Boppin For MD really hit the spot and That's What was what it was all about.
Spike on drums Paul on bass - they did the business and did it good.
A very good turn out for driving straight down the middle modern jazz.
Is it a coincidence that tributes to Brubeck, Mingus and Miles have pulled better than average audiences? Is the jazz world getting hip to the 'Emperors New Clothes'?
Photos from Pam Young.
Lance.

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