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Bebop Spoken There

Mark Walker: "A drummer in a big band is always happy. It's like driving a big bus." - (Downbeat, August 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 July 23



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

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



Jam Session - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Rd., Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel. 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. House trio: Stu Collingwood; Paul Grainger; Matt MacKellar.

Archipelago & J Frisco + Mark Williams Trio - Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. 8:00pm. £9.90.

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

Monday, April 02, 2012

A Jazz Day Out. Sunday April 1.

A blue sky spring day. A train ride into the Deep South of Bebop Spoken Here Land. The Park Inn, Hartlepool, noon. A pint of Black Sheep, a packet of dry-roasted, the musicians arrive in dribs and drabs. The room was soon standing room only. They’ve done this before, some of them for twenty years or more – musicians and audience alike. 
Mick Donnelly’s Musicians Unlimited know countless tunes, so too the band’s loyal followers. A favourite of one and all at this gig is vocalist Bob Caswell. A veteran of the scene, he worked the room with consummate saloon-bar ease. All of Me, You Make Me Feel So Young, I’ve Got the World on a String,  Day In, Day Out, the list goes on and the applause went on and on. Mr. Caswell is a class act and it was a joy to hear this first class band behind him. 
Returning to Tyneside it was time for a bite to eat then on to the Sage via the Jazz Café’s jam session. It was early (house bass player Paul Grainger and pianist Alan Law were sitting having a natter), six o’clock is early in this joint - the advertised start-time was two o’clock or three o’clock depending which piece of publicity you read. Proprietor Keith Crombie operates on CrombieTime, a little known parallel universe and those of us not of this other world know we must sit and wait and wait…Law began to play a blues – it was good but it was time to go. 
The Sage, on the south side of the river, was about to present three of the very best regional youth big bands. Paraffernalia, the premier big band in the portfolio of the Gateshead Music Service performed with distinction at the recent Great North Big Band Jazz Festival. The programme at the Sage included The Chicken, Theme from Bullitt and Birdland. The seven-strong saxophone section comprised no fewer than six talented female musicians. It is to be hoped that they continue to make their way in the jazz world. 
Tees Valley Youth Big Band boasted a powerful trumpet section and  tackled a challenging arrangement of Herbie Hancock’s Chameleon
The third band to take the stage in the magnificent Hall One at the Sage was Jambone. The band, based at the Norman Foster designed facility, boasts some of the very best young musicians from the north east (some drawn from the ranks of Paraffernalia and Tees Valley Youth Big Band) and has the privilege of working with many of the jazz world’s greatest musicians (workshop and in concert). Woody Herman’s Apple Honey works every time - instant impact, a ‘rabble rouser’ without a doubt! The short set concluded with Andy Sheppard’s Gas and Air. The finale brought together all three bands (about sixty musicians) for a blast on Dog House and Live and Let Die.
Where next? A swift walk over the Swing Bridge, up Castle Stairs to the Bridge Hotel in time to catch the second set from Legohead. The trio played some new material (Military Medal and John to name but two) and threw in a couple of old favourites (and they have become favourites) in Clocks and Getaway Driver. The band’s debut CD is in the can and a CD launch gig is sure to follow soon. Two confirmed dates for the diary: next week Sunday 8 April - Splinter @ The Bridge presents Greg Spero, Andy Champion and Adrian Tilbrook. On Sunday 15 July Jambone have a spot at the prestigious Manchester Jazz Festival.

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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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