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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).

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Today Tuesday June 25

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Evening

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.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Jay Phelps Big Band @ The Sage.

Jay Phelps (tpt); Jack Jones (ten); John Turville (pno); Richard Shepherd (bs); Matt Home (dms) were just some of the names I caught of this 17 piece band. If anyone has the full line-up please let me know.
It was John Turville who kicked things off with the lengthy piano intro to Basie's The Kid From Red Bank. I can't say I'd ever imagined Turville playing Basie but he did and very effectively too.
More Basie with Shiny Stockings followed by a Phelps original - Jay Walking. Not surprisingly the composer featured himself on this one. Straight ahead bop bugle unlike the firebrand that was Phelps in his Empirical days. Jack Jones remained seated for his tenor solo as did most of the soloists until the later stages.
Next up was Clare Teal who gave a scintillating performance (see separate review).
After Ms Teal departed the spotlight returned to the band with Ray's Idea and Duke's Such Sweet Thunder. The latter saw Phelps make effective use of the plunger in true Ellingtonian fashion.
The concise opinion during the interval was that the band was very tight albeit somewhat polite.
This all changed in the second set!
A suite by the leader - Movement For The Modern Artist. comprised four sections - My Love; My Soul Endeavour; My Uncertainty; My Gift.
A discordant intro that made some of Mingus' more outré works sound like In A Monastery Garden told us we were in more contemporary waters.
Politeness is abandoned although there are mellow moments as well as swinging dissonance. Baritone and alto do some scorching whilst Phelps holds it all together playing and directing. Superb rhythm section - great band. No disrespect to Shiny Stockings but this is what the more forward thinkers amongst us came to hear.
Ms. Teal returned and every man (and woman) had a few choruses on the final I Just Want To Make Love To You.
A good concert that deserved to have had wider appeal.
Lance.

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