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Bebop Spoken There

Randy Brecker: "It's still a thrill for me today to stand out front of a big band as the soloist and hear all that sound going on behind you. It brings the best out of me" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Monday May 20

Afternoon

Jazz

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

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

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Gavin Lee’s 7th Street Dixieland Band: Jazz @ the Fell - Friday June 1.

(Review by Russell - Photos by Oliver Soden).
Gavin Lee (clarinet), Jim McBriarty (alto saxophone & vocals), Brian Chester (piano), Phil Smith (double bass), Fred Thompson (drums & vocals) & Beth Miller (vocals)
Gateshead Royal British Legion Club on Coatsworth Road, home to Jazz at the Fell, had, for some reason, made an effort to be festive. A hand-drawn poster announced a party for all the family would be held on Monday. A tired-looking string of flags signalled something – perhaps indifference.
The jazz would surely be anything but indifferent. Clarinetist Gavin Lee’s 7th Street Dixieland Band straddles the Mason-Dixon Line in the world of jazz centred around Jazz Age Chicago with occasional sorties south. George Gershwin made the first contribution to the party; Somebody Loves Me featured the first of the vocalists – Jim McBriarty. Fred Thompson sang You Can Depend on Me (you sure can) with solo efforts from McBriarty (alto) and Lee (clarinet). Beth Miller came up from the delta – Teesside Delta – to sing with the band. A bright and breezy On the Sunny Side of the Street made it easy to warm to Miller’s assured low-register delivery. My Funny Valentine, ostensibly an incongruous selection, worked well; Miller impressed, so too Lee, given that the clarinetist had never before played the tune. The outstanding number of the night came courtesy of drummer and sweet-toned vocalist Fred Thompson. Pianist Brian Chester (on top of the material all night) offered the one chord and Thompson sang the verse from Stardust unaccompanied. The band joined him and it was brushes all the way from Thompson. You know how it is – hundreds of gigs waiting for that moment…this was it. I don’t know about gig of the year but this was a contender for moment of the year! 
The interval came and went - raffle, domino card, buffet, another Brown Ale (the club doesn’t do real beer) – and Strike Up the Band marshalled a parade of brolly dollies and a hand-knitted red, white and blue number (a ‘jersey’) was sighted. What’s that about getting dressed in the dark? Harold Arlen focused the mind once more – As Long as I Live – and vocalist Miller returned to the stage to sing September in the Rain. That’s who she reminds me of…there is something of Sassy Sarah Vaughan in her lazy, languorous tone and it wasn’t cold, it wasn’t damp, she ain’t but Miller gave us The Lady is a Tramp
This was a good night out, not strictly Dixieland by any means, simply good tunes played by good musicians. Chester, Phil Smith (bass) and Thompson coped admirably with numbers thrown at them by amiable bandleader Lee and the frontline – Lee and McBriarty – rattled-off the solos. Next week get along to Jazz at the Fell to hear the Maine Street Jazzmen.
Russell

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