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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).
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Today Saturday February 29

Afternoon

Jazz

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.

Evening

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.

Blues/Funk/Soul

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, February 26, 2011

I WENT TO CHURCH ON FRIDAY – TO HEAR THE JAZZ RASCALS

Jazz fans who weren’t at the Unitarian Church in Newcastle on Friday evening to hear Elaine Binney and the Jazz Rascals have missed an absolute treat. I wasn’t sure whether to pray or hum a tune as I entered the elegant early 20th century church (a listed building), but, along with about 80 other fans, I soon forgot about all that as this live album recording kicked off with Take 5. Guitar, drums and bass played rhythmically, punctuated by strong cuts across from Elaine’s violin to start this number. Elaine explained that this band was different; they relied more on melody rather than improvisation. All I can say is that what they did was really good to listen to, and exciting, with more improvisation than Elaine had suggested. Classically trained Elaine, very much the leader of the band, looked smart in black trousers and waistcoat, white blouse, and black and white trailing belt. The violin wore a matching long black and white streamer, very cool. Elaine gave us lively chat between numbers, mostly to exhort us to pre-order the album! Peter on guitar sang wonderfully freely on 4 of the pieces; the original Swan Like; Autumn Leaves; Stormy Weather (this version had effectively simplified words); and a very tender version of You Are So Beautiful. The band’s other original numbers were Jokers and Kings; Treaty of Trianon and January Blue. There was a very strong melodic feel, but with enough improvisation to add interest, four very capable musicians, led by the violin which was luscious, or tricky or jagged as necessary. Other standard items were Summertime; and Work Song; which was dedicated to all the nine to five workers.
After the actual recording ended, the band decided that we should have some relaxing fun, which we did with a lively upbeat version of Ain’t Misbehavin, with lovely call and response between the violin and the rest of the band. If I had a complaint it would be that I’d have liked numbers to last longer with longer solos, but I suppose this was due to the constraints of recording. There is to be a full concert when the album is released later in the year – I can’t wait! Ann Alex.

2 comments :

Lance said...

...and not forgetting bass and drums who were right on the money...

Unknown said...

I was there and have to say it was brilliant. I thought Elaine was excellent, but special mention must also be made for the band who were all exceptional. Big up the rascals and much love to J Bizzle, some killer fills and solos!

Rich...