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Bebop Spoken There

Reuben James: "Mark [Kavuma] has such a unique sound on the horn. He lets it all hang out in a very vulnerable way when he plays ballads." - (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 Tuesday September 24



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

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm - 3:00pm. Free.




JCM: In Memory of Jon Hiseman - Forum Music Centre, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 363135. 7:00pm. £20.00. (£18.00. adv.). Clem Clemson (guitar); Mark Clarke (bass); Ralph Salmins (drums). Support: T-A-B ((Tom Atkinson Band).


Alter Ego - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. £5.00.



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

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mark McKnight Quartet @ The Cluny. September 27.

Mark McKnight (guitar), Seamus Blake (tenor saxophone), Ross Stanley (organ) & James Maddren (drums).
Schmazz @ The Cluny and Jazz North East pooled resources to secure the Newcastle booking of Mark McKnight's band during an extensive tour of the UK. Irishman McKnight made a considerable impression last year at the Corner House in the company of alto star Paul Towndrow. The Cluny date was keenly anticipated and a large turn-out greeted the quartet with much enthusiasm. The guitarist's latest CD - Do or Die - is most accomplished and hearing the material live proved to be a real treat. 
The tunes strong, musicianship of the highest order, it all seemed so effortless. McKnight the composer is one to watch and all four musicians developed extended solos; Nightcap, a new tune - Ballad of Lee Murgatroyd - and the one non-original number - Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered - were quite exceptional. McKnight's fluency was something to behold, Seamus Blake's tenor the perfectly pitched foil, organist Ross Stanley the master of his instrument and young drummer James Maddren had it all at his fingertips. The first set concluded with Overnight the eponymous number from McKnight's acclaimed debut recording as a bandleader. The consensus of the interval chatter gave a unanimous thumbs up to a great first set. 
Another pint of Harviestoun's IPA was called for as future gigs were discussed...Ray Chester, Charles Gayle, Enrico Tomasso (the Tyneside audience is nothing if not catholic in taste) and before we knew it we were served a second helping of McKnight & co.. Pieces, with perhaps a hint of Mingus' Goodbye Pork Pie Hat and McLaughlin's Extrapolation periodfeatured Maddren's languid yet tight drumming with McKnight's bell-like tones ringing out across the Cluny. Do or Die had to feature and it did. It sounds good on CD and it sounded rather good live!  McKnight's very first composition - Contemplate - a ballad at that, proved to be a highlight with Blake playing some assured old school tenor. The closing number (We'll) Just Disappear upped the ante featuring outrageously good solos all round with Seamus Blake's tenor playing catching everyone by surprise as he rattled-off phrase after sanctifying phrase. Was this a prayer meeting? Thrilling stuff! A contender for gig of the year.

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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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