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Bebop Spoken There

Davina Lozier: "So many people never settle into who they really are. They just do what they want to do because they want to be Oscar Peterson or Muddy Waters or Britney Spears. But I am what I am: a chubby, 40-year-old woman who's still doing it." - (DownBeat, December 2019).


Today Monday November 11



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. 3:40pm. Stanley Nelson's 2019 documentary film.


Soft Machine - Cluny, Lime St., Newcastle NE1 2PQ. Tel 0191 230 4474. 7:30pm. £17.50.

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

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Chicago meets Lanercost.

On the 5th April 2012, walking into Dacre Hall at Lanercost I didn’t know what to expect of the musician Greg Spero, having never heard his music before. However, if the atmosphere of the audience was anything to go off, then I was feeling positive anticipation. We arrived at Dacre Hall at 7:10pm so we had 20 minutes to wait until the show began. Dacre Hall itself is an old stone building with a spectacular wood panelled fire place and quite a small venue.
Soon enough the main lights were all turned off, and in the centre of the room where the band was set up, a spotlight shone. Greg Spero, a young man from Chicago, who is an exceptionally talented pianist, was putting on a performance and he was backed by Andy Champion (bass) and Adrian Tilbrook (drums).
They started off with the song ‘Hills’, a catchy tune that sounds even more beautiful live than it does on Spero’s album ‘Acoustic’. Greg spoke to us about his adventures in England, and his excitement about playing for us at a sold out show. The next 2 songs he played were ‘Autumn Leaves’ and ‘When I Fall in Love’, which are just a couple of examples of the musical talent that Spero possesses. He then proceeded to play the song ‘Universe’. ‘Universe’ is a beautiful piece of music that you find yourself getting lost in whilst listening to it, but not only do you get lost in its beauty but Greg seemed to completely immerse himself into the performance. 
 The first set ended with a cover of Miles Davis’ ‘Blue in Green’ which completely complements the original, and even that is an understatement. Local Saxophonist Roz Sluman sat in on some of the numbers. Simply saying that she’s brilliant doesn’t do her justice, the crowd loved seeing her perform and she honestly was amazing.
The second half was set into motion with a cover of The Beatles' ‘Blackbird’ which added a new twist to a classic song; whilst still complementing it with Spero’s musical grace. The second song was a cover of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ originally performed by Judy Garland and written by Harold Arlen, which, like the original, was very beautiful. After this came ‘Footprints’, which is a lovely little number that sounds absolutely great. Greg followed up with ‘Latin Fusion Blues’ which can also be found on the album ‘Acoustic’, it’s a more upbeat song but it’s catchy and performed brilliantly. A rendition of ‘Sly’ by Herbie Hancock followed and it was just as wonderful as the original, along with all the other songs, this shows off his obvious talent. The final piece Spero played was ‘Stella by Starlight’,  the perfect song to close with, it’s upbeat and you remember it once it’s finished.
Greg obviously puts his heart and soul into his performance, as they sound absolutely wonderful. He comes across as a very charismatic man who interacts well with the audience. He asked the audience what they wanted to hear and he fulfilled their requests. This in my eyes makes him a good performer. Obviously Spero isn’t the only person to thank for an evening of wonderful music, there’s also Andy Champion, Roz Sluman and Adrian Tilbrook who all performed splendidly. The evening was absolutely fantastic, and I completely recommend listening to Greg Spero as his music is truly beautiful and he needs to be heard.
Rebecca Henrys (aged 15 going on 25)
PS: Photo (by Alan Sawyer) shows Organiser David Gosling, Greg Spero, Adrian Tilbrook and Andy Champion after their final triumph at Carlisle Rugby Club.


Lance said...

Rebecca, if I could have wrote about music like you do when I was 15 I'd be writing for Down Beat, NME or maybe (God forbid) became a judge on the X Factor!
Love to hear more from you.

Liz said...

Wow, the girl has a bright future.

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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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