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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.

Wednesday September 18



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

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.


Alexys de Alfaro - Revoluçion de Cuba, Cloth Market, Newcastle NE1 1EE. Tel: 0191 917 7076. 6:00pm. Free.

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £1.00.



Archipelago + Freese Trio - Bobik's, Punch Bowl Hotel, Jesmond Road, Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 3JY. Tel: 0191 284 0490. 7:30pm. £5.00.


Levee Ramblers NOJB w. Jim McBriarty (clarinet) & Bob Wade (trumpet) - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Road, Springwell, Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm. £3.00.


Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8:30pm. Free.

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

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Gateshead International Jazz Festival Triple Bill - Sunday March 25

Robert Mitchell (pno); Tom Mason (bs); Richard Spaven (dms). 
(Photo courtesy of The Sage.)
This was the first of a triple bill and it set a high bar. I first heard Mitchell at Live Theatre when his phenomenal technique almost eclipsed Matana Roberts. Later, he showed at The Cluny and I recall the late Chris Yates gasping in awe at his technique - we all were!
Today that dynamic technique hasn't vanished, The hands move as fast as the average windmill in a tornado - maybe a little faster - and the ideas keep pace. Bass and Drums stay in the race. Wish I could remember the name of the nocturnal, classical, reverie he played, It didn't swing but, in its, own way, it did.
Zoe Rahman (piano) Idris Rahman (clarinet) Gene Calderazzo (drums) Davide Mantovani (bass).
(Photo courtesy of llze Kitshoff.)
It just shows what women can do in jazz!  Two great concerts with women at the helm, Gwyneth Herbert on Saturday and Zoe Rahman on Sunday.  And both ladies have such engaging personalities, it was a joy to be there.
Zoe is touring the UK to mark the release of her fifth album Kindred Spirits, so most of the numbers were from that recording.  Zoe had an Irish Grandmother and the tunes were influenced by melodies of Ireland and the rhythms of jigs and reels, as well as the sounds of Indian music, which was especially noticeable on the clarinet.  And I’ve never seen such a ‘physical’ musician as this clarinettist, he swayed and stepped, legs wide apart, as if the clarinet was simply part of himself, which I suppose it is.
Numbers played included Go Where Glory Leads You, with a light rippling piano and Indian influenced clarinet;  My Heart Dances, which involved a sort of jig on the piano, eastern influences on the clarinet, drums and clarinet swapping bars, and a lively drum solo for good measure.  Then came Rise above, and There are People Here ,which featured a strong tune on the clarinet and a good solo from the bass.  These are all skilled musicians but Zoe shines out as the person at the helm.  Zoe told us that her Bengali father had passed away this week but was with us in spirit.  The show must go on, as they say.
All three levels of Hall 2 were full, so many people were glad that the show went on. 
Ann Alex. 
Ambrose Akinmusire (trumpet), Walter Smith III (tenor saxophone), Sam Harris (piano), Harish Raghavan (double bass) & Justin Brown (drums).
(Photo courtesy of Mark Savage).   
American trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, not yet thirty years of age, has worked with star names before his eighteenth birthday and been placed in several prestigious polls – featuring in the top twenty trumpeters in Downbeat’s readers’ poll, achieving a 4 star rating in the magazine’s Best CDs of 2011 for his latest release When the Heart Emerges Glistening and Jazz Times’ critics considered him Best Trumpet 2011 ahead of Terence Blanchard (one of his teachers) and Wynton Marsalis and the critics’ picks saw his CD bettered only by releases from Sonny Rollins and Joe Lovano. An impressive cv by any standards. 
Akinmusire’s festival appearance was his second visit to The Sage having previously worked as sideman to Jon Escreet. The quintet format for this latest concert appearance recalled an earlier era of front line horns listening then trading to and fro. Youthful pianist Sam Harris sketched chords, all the time looking to insert a line here and there. Bassist Harish Raghavan and Justin Brown (drums) exuded class throughout but the focus was on Akinmusire and tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III. Bandleader Akinmusire has assimilated the sounds of modern jazz trumpet – Miles Davis, Clifford Brown, the brilliance of Lee Morgan – to find a voice of his own in a crowded trumpeters’ market place. His next visit to Tyneside cannot come soon enough.

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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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