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Bebop Spoken There

David Binney: "In this age, we musicians need to do anything we can to make a living, and ninety-nine percent of us will have to do a wide variety of things." - (Jazz Times May 2019)

Archive

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.

Until July 21

Today Tuesday July 16

Afternoon

Jazz

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.

Evening

Jazz

Gala Big Band w. ALAN BARNES: Strictly Come BRASSing - Gala Theatre, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. Tel: 03000 266 600. 7:30pm. £15.00. (£12.00. concs.). A Durham Brass Festival event.

River City Jazzmen - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NW. Tel: 01670 813983 (info). 8:00pm. £5.00. (inc. raffle). RCJ with Don Armstrong (clarinet, saxophone, penny whistle, vocals).

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SOLD OUT!

Zoe Rahman & Laura MacDonald - Lit & Phil, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SE. Tel: 0191 232 0192.. 8:00pm. £12.00. (£10.00. concs.). JNE.

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Northern Monkey Brass Band - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB.Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

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

Saturday, October 13, 2012

You can’t play that music tonight, that music belongs to the morning!

(By Ann Alex).
And that restriction, jazzers, is one of the rules about playing Indian ragas, as I learned when attending the lecture about South Asian music, at the Sage on Tuesday this week, given by Prof. David Clarke of Newcastle University.  This was an interesting and fascinating illustrated talk.  I'll try to convey the information given, though I'm no expert.  Jazz musicians will identify with some of the ideas behind this form of music.
Prof. Clarke was discussing Northern Indian classical music, known as Hindustani music.  Rather than our formal written classical music, this is ‘mood’ music with a certain ‘feel’, hence the rule that certain pieces or ‘Ragas’ can only be played at certain times of the day.  The music is improvised within a set structure and most musicians are able to play about 100 ragas, although there are 1000s in existence.  The music isn't normally written down except for teaching purposes.  No two performances of the same raga will be identical.
First, the drone is set up, played on a 4 stringed instrument. We were told that this is played by stroking each string as you'd stroke a lover!  The drone plays throughout the piece and can be produced electronically.  Then comes the main instrument, often a sitar or the voice, and the raga is established by playing the relevant notes for that raga from the scale.  The note names are Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni.  After some time, possibly 5 or so minutes of playing, the two tabla drums begin repeating their pattern of 12 or 16 notes, called Thekas, as appropriate for the raga.  There is improvisation by the sitar and drums, although the drums have to be subtle.  The raga proceeds through the various sections, often ending with very fast tabla playing.  How do the musicians know when to begin a new section?  Prof Clarke said ‘They just know!’  This must sound familiar to jazz musicians.
If someone is singing the raga, the words are either religious or romantic, or sometimes both combined.  I recently heard a raga performance and the music reminded me of Western minimalist classical music, say that of Philip Glass, but more complex.  Apparently the ethos of ragas is in the background of lots of Indian music, including popular music.  I was fascinated by this talk which has demystified an unfamiliar type of music.  There is more information about performances at
Ann Alex.

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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: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance