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Bebop Spoken There

Guy Barker: "You have to play it [the trumpet] every day or you just won't be match-fit." - (Jazz Rag, Winter 2019.)

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Today Friday December 13

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux CarréJazzmen - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. ‘Christmas Jazz Lunch’. Details from 0191 252 9429).

Dean Stockdale Trio - The Merry Monk, 30 Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening.

Jazz

‘An Evening of Swing & Sparkle’ - National Glass Centre, Liberty Way, Sunderland SR6 0GL. Tel: 0191 515 5555. 7:30pm. £35.00. Rat Pack evening inc. 4-course meal.

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regents Farm Road, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 284 3700. 8:00pm. £12.00. + bf. First night of two.

Chris Dean's Syd Lawrence Orchestra - Yarm School, Stockton TS15 9EJ. Tel: 01642 786023. 7:30pm (6:30pm doors). £18.00. + £1.80. bf (£15.00. + £1.50. bf). 'Mistletoe & Miller'.

Blues, Funk/Soul etc.

Baghdaddies - Cobalt Studios, Boyd Street, NewcastleNE2 1AP. £10.68 (inc. bf). ‘Big Xmas Knees Up’.

Swamp Hoppers - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

George Shovlin & the Acoustic Radars feat. Pat Rafferty + George Pallas & John Wilkins - Whitburn Cricket Club, East Street, Whitburn SR6 7BZ. Tel: 0191 529 3187. 7:30pm (7:00pm doors). £7.50. admission by ticket only (from www.wegottickets.com). 'The Bents Road Sessions'.

Dead Skunk Skiffle & Blues Orchestra + Stetson Five - Station East, Hills Street, Gateshead NE8 2AN. 8:00pm. Free.

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

Friday, May 11, 2012

Howard Alden Quintet @ Bois(terous)dale. May 10.

Howard Alden (7 string gtr); Karen Sharp (ten); Simon Woolf (bs); Sebastian de Krom (dms); Jeanne Gies (vcl).
(Review by Lance).
One may be forgiven for thinking that the presence of one of the world's great jazz guitarists - a living legend - would have the audience sitting in hushed silence in awe of greatness. Fat chance! This is Boisdale where the volume of noise from the crowd makes the mob at Hoochie Coochie seem like a meeting of Whisperers' Anonymous!
Nevertheless, for those prepared to listen, and this includes  a charming couple - Leanne and Drew - whose acquaintance I was delighted to make (our views on jazz, the venue and the gig ran parallel), there was some great jazz played.
Opening up with I Hear a Rhapsody Karen Sharp took the first solo. Her rich full sound proved you don't have to be a man to blow masculine tenor! Karen ably carried on the tradition begun by Kathy Stobart and Barbara Thompson. Enter Alden with a solo that really should have been appreciated by more than the select few paying attention. This was George Van Eps, George Barnes, Bucky Pizzarelli  and, most of all Howard Alden.
Embraceable You once again showed off the wonderful Sharp sound - I think I'm in love! Alden of course was brilliant but Simon Woolf's bowed bass solo was, I think, the most melodic bass solo I've ever heard!
A swinging I'll Remember April culminated in an exciting round of fours.
So far so good.
Enter Jeanne Gies. Jeanne, an American singer of great originality put her stamp on Little White Lies, My Foolish Heart and On the Street Where You Live bringing the set to a close.
It was during the break I met the aforementioned Leanne and Drew and eventually joined their table prior to which I'd been kept amply supplied with Bombadier Bitter by barman Ernest. Thank you kind sir.
The second set began with a duo take on I Wanna Be Around by Alden and Ms. Gies which was superbly effective. Gies stayed on stage until the end of the set. Now with all due respect to the lady - she is an interesting singer - it meant less of Howard Alden and I'd made the trip out to Canary Wharf specially to hear him.
Perhaps it was, as suggested by my table companions, because he'd sensed the general indifference and decided to go down the cabaret road. Who knows? So, like the well known egg of the Curate, this gig was very good in parts but, as an audience, they (the audience) could have done better!
Lance.

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