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Bebop Spoken There

Sting: "It was great. They [the River City Jazzmen] all wore blue suits. The band had been together for about twenty years, which was the same age as the suits." - (Melody Maker Sept. 22, 1979).


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 October 21



Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden (see centre column).

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool - Tyneside Cinema, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6QG. Tel: 0191 227 5500. 3:00pm/5:30pm. Screening of Stanley Nelson's documentary film (2019, cert. 15, 1hr 55mins).



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

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Off the Leash @ St.Chad's College, Durham. Musicon Jazz Festival Day 2 Afternoon.

Off the Leash: John Steele (ten/sop); Paul Beck (keys); Doug Kennard (gtr); Katy Trigger (el bs); Stan Praszczalek (dms).
Festivals usually have early starts - Sunderland's big band extravaganza and Gateshead's international weekend marathon are but two regional examples of this phenomenon - but this, the inaugural Musicon Durham Jazz Festival, took things at a more leisurely pace.
The second day got under way at four o'clock thus allowing the jazz visitor to have a wander through the historic city of the Prince Bishops. A browse in one or two book shops, a pilgrimage to Durham Cathedral - taking a pew for a few minutes - then there was a vacant pew in the near by Shakespeare pub and a pint of Deuchar's Over the Bar proved to be a good choice.
So, to the jazz. St.Chad's, one of the many colleges of Durham University, played host to the concert performances. An enclosed court yard with licensed bar was a most pleasant setting for Off the Leash, formed by key members from the remnants of Different Worlds, to open proceedings. Veteran reeds player John Steele and the similarly experienced Paul Beck (seated at a Yamaha grand with electric keyboards to one side) were joined by two musicians who have been around the block a few times - guitarist Doug Kennard and drummer Stan Praszczlek - and a new name to this reviewer, electric bassist Katy Trigger.
From Herbie Hancock's Maiden Voyage to Pat Metheny's Midnight Voyage this band is all about jazz fusion, jazz rock, call it what you will. The Yellow Jackets and Steely Dan just about sum up what the listener can expect to hear. The material was at the melodic end of the genre and, ironically, rarely did any one cut loose or strain at the leash.
Steele played some good soprano (why is that tenor players seem to be so adept on soprano?), pianist Beck squared up to his electric piano, Kennard soloed tastefully using pedal effects and bass and drums had it down.
Running concurrently with the concert schedule was a workshop up on Palace Green. Sandi Russell with the excellent Paul Edis Trio and tenor wunderkind Vasilis Xenopoulos held court in the cloistered environs of the Music School. Students included vocalist Gaby and pianist Colm working out on Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise. The tutors gave encouragement and suggested this and that - just as it should be.
The evening concert featuring Vasi, Paul, Mick and Adam has been reviewed by Bebop Spoken Here's Editor in Chief and reluctantly I opted out of the late night jam session (last trains and all that).

1 comment :

Blue said...

Off the Leash were followed by a band with no name put together by five students just for the occasion. I doubt any of them were over 21 but they played jazz with enthusiasm and talent. When young people are doing this there's hope for the future of jazz.

Their repetoire ranged from Ellington to Lennon/McCartney - to them its all old music.

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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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