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Bebop Spoken There

Poncho Sanchez: "When I perform it's my life story." - (DownBeat October 2019).


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 Thursday September 19



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

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.



Alexito & Loco Machine - Revoluçion de Cuba, Cloth Market, Newcastle NE1 1EE. Tel: 0191 917 7076. 6:00pm. Free.

Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra - Arc, Dovecot St., Stockton on Tees TS18 1LL. Tel: 01642 525199. 7:00pm. £12.00. + £0.10. bf. ‘Jazz & Tapas’ (booking essential). Guest: Alice Grace.

Bradley Johnston Quartet - St James' & St Basil's Church, Fenham Hall Drive, Fenham, Newcastle NE4 9EJ. 7:30pm. £8.00. (£4.00. student).

Sudden Jazz Quintet - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. Free (donations).

Eclectic - Tees Hot Club, Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 9:00pm. Free. Rick Laughlin (keys); Alan Thompson, Dan Johnson, Sue Ferris, Josh Bentham (saxes); Ian Halford (drums).

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.



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

Friday, September 16, 2011

CD Review: Mark McKnight Organ Quartet - Do or Die

Mark McKnight (guitar), Seamus Blake (saxophone), Ross Stanley (organ) & James Maddren (drums) Mark McKnight's second CD Do or Die features a UK-based organ band. The tunes are McKnight's - the exception being Rodgers and Hart's Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered - and his hand-picked band has honed the material to perfection. 
The ubiquitous Ross Stanley plays Hammond with restraint never seeking to dominate. Drummer James Maddren - a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music - bristles with technique yet he too plays with commendable reserve. Band leader McKnight is a supremely gifted guitarist and New Yorker Seamus Blake's tenor complements and completes the group sound on this most satisfying new release from Whirlwind Recordings. 
The opening track, the eponymous Do or Die, sets the standard and features some post-Coltrane tenor intensity. Pieces is a relaxed piece exemplifying the CD as a whole. Nightcap goes with a lyrical, '60's Modern jazz feel; McKnight languorously fluent, Blake likewise, Stanley stabbing and swirling, Maddren wonderfully loose throughout. Bewitched is an inspired inclusion on this recording. A classic number, it is approached with due reverence and the result is stunning. It will be a long time before this take is bettered and hearing it live on the band's forthcoming UK tour will be an eagerly anticipated occasion. 
McKnight can do contemporary and Tease demonstrates the point. A drum 'n' bass vibe underpins McKnight's scaling of the heights and Blake joins in the fun with some blistering tenor work. On Contemplate Hammond maestro Stanley conjures an ethereal church organ sound upon which McKnight constructs a considered solo followed by superb tenor from Blake. The CD's closing number (We'll) Just Disappear is a fitting finale with Blake once again in the spotlight with more taut, intense playing of the highest order. 
The CD is officially released on 26th September. The band is about to embark on an extensive tour of the UK - the first date (the first of 14 gigs in 13 days!) is in Bristol this Sunday (18th). Hopefully the CD will be available at venues during the band's travels throughout the land. 
Check out Mark McKnight's website - - for details of where you can catch the band live. Do 0r Die (Whirlwind Recordings WR461)

1 comment :

Dan Blake said...

Hi Russell,

If you would like a copy of Seamus Blake's most recent CD, "live at Smalls" to review please send me a mailing address.

Dan Blake (

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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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