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Bebop Spoken There

Dayna Stephens: "I always tell them [students] there will never be anyone who will play it [EWI] as technically proficient as this cat [Michael Brecker] did." - (JazzTimes June 2019).


Today Tuesday June 25



Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.


Jam Session - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, 59 Westgate Rd., Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel. 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. Free. Trio Alan Law, Paul Grainger, John Bradford.

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

Friday, July 01, 2011

New Century Ragtime Orchestra @ Gateshead Legion Club

Tom Cook, Caroline Irwin (cor/uke/vcl); Don Fairley (tmb); Ed Cross (vln); Jim McBriarty (alt/clt/vcl); Alan Marshall (alt/clt/fl/); Gavin Lee (ten/clt); Steve Andrews (ten/clt.MC); Neville Hartley (pno); Phil Rutherford (souza); Keith Stephen (gtr/bjo); Stevie Doyle (dms).
Are they a dance band? Are they a jazz band? What are they? The answer is that the NCRO are unique - impossible to pigeonhole - they are what you perceive them to be. In my eyes they are the personification of Scott Fitzgerald's (no relation to Ella) perception of 1920's America - the Jazz Age as seen through Tyneside eyes.
However, because so much of the music played originated in black bands such as Duke's, McKinney's Cotton Pickers, the Chocolate Dandies etc maybe there is an Ellament via the first Lady's connection with Chick Webb. Who knows? Who cares?
One of the many strengths of this band is Steve Andrews' humorous - albeit sometimes over-lengthy - and droll chapter and verse introductions to the next number.
e.g. "This next number will feature Gavin Lee on Padukah. Gavin is 34 and lives in Shotton Colliery. Already he has reached Gateshead - where will it end?"
60 years ago, on tonight's performance, it may have ended in New York at Jimmy Ryan's or Eddie Condon's but these days...
That delectable Flapper Caroline Irwin played cornet and ukulele as well as singing, amongst others, that marvelous song cleverly entitled I'll Never Say "Never Again" Again. Caroline cuts the mustard.
Jim McBriarty back from the valley of the shadow gave his vocal chords a work-out on Everybody Loves My Girl following it up with some nice alto. good to have you back Jim.
Unfair to pick out individuals in such a fine band but a mention must be made of Stevie Doyle's drum work - so in tune with the idiom. All the more incredible when you know that Stevie can also drive a bebop band along. "When you've played in The Clubs you learn how to fit into any situation." If you say so Stevie - only thing I learned to play in The Clubs was Bingo!
The room should have been crowded, sadly it wasn't, blame was put on Wimbledon!
Next week is special - I mean really special. It's Ron and Joyce Pollard's 50th wedding anniversary. The Maine Street Gang are playing, sitters-in are invited - it's a party! Show your appreciation of a couple who have kept jazz at that end of Gateshead going for 11 years - in fact since they inherited the mantle from the late Ray Brown.
Bring some food with you to swell the buffet.

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