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Bebop Spoken There

Sting: "It was great. They [the River City Jazzmen] all wore blue suits. The band had been together for about twenty years, which was the same age as the suits." - (Melody Maker Sept. 22, 1979).

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.

Today Monday October 21

Afternoon

Jazz

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

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

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool - Tyneside Cinema, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6QG. Tel: 0191 227 5500. 3:00pm/5:30pm. Screening of Stanley Nelson's documentary film (2019, cert. 15, 1hr 55mins).

Evening

?????

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

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Jack DeJohnette Group/Polar Bear @ The Sage, Gateshead.

Jack DeJohnette (dms); Don Byron (ten./sop.clt); George Colligan (keys/tpt); Marvin Sewell (gtr); Michael Mondesir (bs).
(Review by Lance)
DeJohnette took his seat (throne?) behind the kit and made various adjustments as the audience sat in hushed silence awaiting to hear the great man speak. This he eventually did, introducing the members of the band by name before setting the ball rolling with a drum introduction to his own composition - Blue. In fact all five extended pieces were DeJohnette originals.
Colligan was the first up to the plate blowing a pocket trumpet from which he produced a big fat sound. I'd liked to have heard more trumpet from him but, for the rest of the 90 minute set he concentrated on the assortment of keyboards he was surrounded by - occasionally playing different keyboards simultaneously as well as the concert grand. 
Byron impressed on tenor but I was somewhat surprised that the regular Down Beat poll winner on clarinet seemed to be playing exclusively in the higher register - or was it a soprano clarinet? From where I was sitting way back it did appear to be shorter than the standard Bb instrument.
Marvin Sewell played some powerful solos and former Jazz Warrior Mondesir was equally impressive.
Unusually for a drummer/leader we weren't overpowered by a barrage of drum solos. Where DeJohnette really came into his own was in his ability to vary the pace and the mood to suit the soloist. 
It was a good gig that, if it didn't set The Sage on fire, certainly kept it warm and was surely deserved of a larger audience.
Programme: Blue; One For Eric; Tango African; Lydia (dedicated to his wife); Ahmad the Terrible.
Earlier, British experimental band Polar Bear - Seb Rochford (dms); Mark Lockheart, Pete Wareham (ten); Tom Herbert (bs); Leafcutter John (electronics) - played an opening set that was well received by most of the audience.
Lance.

1 comment :

John Moles said...

I have to say that at least on the night I thought 'Polar Bear' was the better band: more 'composed through' (or at least 'arranged through' compositions), more variety in all departments, better bass (moving to see the old upright form playing such a varied and pivotal role), better group interaction, and better solo-ing (maybe also better drumming). De Johnette's group was 'jazzier' (not that 'Polar Bear', despite funkiness, wasn't squarely within the tradition) but lacked solist distinction (essential in such contexts). The keyboards were OK (certainly not helped by back facing the audience on the grand), the guitarists competent but undistinguished, Byron surely a major disappointment. Though the clarinet imported interesting and distinctive sonorities, the soloing itself wasn't great and the man himself seemed an ironic and detached figure. We had to leave at 10 (train to catch) and perhaps it got better, but the 'London Jazz Review' was surely way over the top.

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About this blog - contact details.

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.

Submissions for review

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