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Bebop Spoken There

Jackie Paris: "A singer's got to be able to tell a story. Frank Sinatra and Nat Cole are best at that; Mel Tormé too. I like to take a lyric that means something and sing it right to the person it was meant for." - (DownBeat October 11, 1962).


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 Monday September 16



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

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



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

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Of Mice and Jazzmen. July 14, 2012

(Review by Russell - Photo by Oliver Soden).
Plan A. Monument Metro station mid-morning. Take the leisurely route through South Tyneside, explore South Shields market, catch the Shields’ ferry to the north side, jump on a train to Tynemouth and stroll along to the jazz stage to hear the first of two days of  classic-era jazz. 
Plan B. Take the leisurely route then minutes into the journey hear the train driver announce that due to a truck hitting a road bridge further on up the line the train would terminate at Hebburn. Take the bus or walk? Walk. Half a mile along the road it rained. Connect with another train down the line at Jarrow. Arrive South Shields. King Street

The unmistakable sound of a bagpiper. No, make that four bagpipers. What’s the definition of a gentlemen? Answers to Bebop Spoken Here. The market place, the sound of four gentlemen distant. A stall holder cranked-up the ghetto-blaster to assail one and all with country and western ‘classics’. The far side of the market rendered the stetsoned one all but silent. One or two interesting books but the purchase of the day was a good condition vinyl copy of The Hawk in Holland Coleman Hawkins and the Ramblers Dance Orchestra. Called into the Customs House to check-out the current exhibition – Jane Lee McCracken The Woodcutter’s Cottage. Amazing what can be created using nothing but a biro. Ferry to North Shields. Looked in on a charity shop on the off chance that there would be a rare Joe Harriott LP going for 50p. No Harriott but plenty of Jim Reeves. The Mob (aka a group of young ‘uns) threw in a stink bomb. The staff were not amused. 
Amused caught the Metro, better late than never, to Tynemouth. Once a year the genteel coastal town supports the long weekend Mouth of the Tyne Festival. Front Street comes alive with face painters, acrobats, fire eaters, stilt walkers, street theatre, on-street barbies, drinkers and drunkards and this year the best thing seen/enacted in many a year…folk sporting Roaring Twenties garb - plus twos, spats – looking nonplussed covered in ‘deposits’ from seagulls overhead. Brilliant! 
The Gibraltar Rock stage (the cliff top pub not the time-warped redundant outcrop of ‘Empire’) soaked-up the sun. Sun? Why wasn’t it raining? Three bands shared the billing, each performing two sets. Broadway Melody strolled through their opening spot. Mia Webb, working with the band for the first time, sang Autumn Leaves (!) and sent out an invitation to dance Cheek to Cheek (if only!). The comedic Iain McAulay (trombone & vocals) and Derek Fleck (clarinet & saxophone) made Ms Webb feel right at home. Pianist Brian Chester impressed (every jazz stage should have an acoustic piano) and the back room boys (boys?) Ollie Rillands (drums) and John Carstairs Hallam (double bass) kept things swinging. Second helpings included Sentimental Journey, Royal Garden Blues (excellent trumpet from the excellent Mick Hill) and one of the tunes of the afternoon had Webb opining Mean to Me (surely no one could be so to the wonderful Ms Webb?). 
The West Jesmond Rhythm Kings, led by trumpeter Mike Durham, were drafted in from across Tyneside. Well, in truth most of them simply moved around the stage. Pianist Brian Chester stretched his legs to play trombone on the session as Iain McAulay switched to double bass and the phlegmatic Derek Fleck didn’t stray too far from his pipe and slippers fireside chair. Roly Veitch – a bona fide banjo rhythm king – knocked out the chords with aplomb. Durham was on the look-out for some Cake Walking Babies from Home. Perhaps he didn’t find them but he did unearth a spirited Bad Penny Blues
Dedicated purveyors of Crescent City jazz the Rae Brothers New Orleans Jazz Band closed the first day with a typical set – classic instrumentation, authentic vocals and first-rate ensemble work. The Raes – Mac (trumpet, clarinet & vocals) and Dave (banjo & vocals) have assembled a top-drawer band. Clarinetist Liz Bacon is an assured front line player and drummer Paul Bacon could justifiably lay claim to being a graduate of the School of New Orleans Music (honorary Crescent City citizenship must surely be in the offing). The lugubrious John Robinson (string bass) played as he always does – with reassuring efficiency. The youthful Ian Wynne played some rollicking piano. Hearing him play Professor Longhair’s Crawfish Fiesta confirms him as another five star student of the music. Earlier in the day Mia Webb singing Mean to Me was a highlight and the Rae Brothers provided another – Over in the Glory Land. A glorious finale to a not so glorious summer’s day. The rain returned. A day for mice and jazzmen.

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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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